On September 25, 2004, at 2155 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 177, N29650, registered to and operated by the private pilot, landed on a road and struck a fence following a loss of engine power in Anderson, South Carolina. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The private pilot and the three passengers reported no injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight departed Picayune Municipal Airport, Picayune, Mississippi, at 1600 central daylight time on September 25, 2004.

The pilot stated he requested the airplane be topped off with fuel, and he departed Picayune, Mississippi, "assuming I had five hours of fuel at departure." The pilot stated he did not visually verify the fuel level in the tanks prior to departure, and that, during the flight, he "noticed the fuel gauges read lower than they should." The pilot stated he elected to continue without stopping to add fuel. The pilot stated the flight was at 6,000 feet approximately four to five miles from Greenville Downtown Airport, Greenville, South Carolina, when the engine quit. The pilot stated he notified the tower controller that he was out of fuel, and the controller cleared him to proceed for a straight-in landing on runway 10. The pilot stated that, "with the strong headwind, I knew I wouldn't make it," and he turned the airplane toward Donaldson Center Airport, Greenville, South Carolina. The pilot stated he then realized the airplane could not glide the distance to that airport, either, and he searched for a road on which to land. The pilot landed the airplane on Frontage Road beside Interstate 85. The pilot stated that, during landing roll, the left wing of the airplane struck a fence, and the airplane veered left into the fence.

Examination of the airplane revealed the left wing spar and the right wing were damaged, the fuselage was buckled near the firewall, and the nosewheel was separated. Emergency response personnel reported no fuel was found in the airplane's fuel tanks.

A review of fueling records from a fixed-base operator at Picayune Municipal Airport, Picayune, Mississippi, revealed on September 25, 2004, the airplane was topped off with 39.3 gallons 100 LL aviation fuel. A review of Anderson County Emergency Services 911 records revealed the accident was reported by callers at 2155. A review of recorded wind data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Air Resources Laboratory revealed winds aloft along the route of flight were generally from the northeast at speeds ranging from 15 to 25 knots at the altitudes flown.

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