NYC05CA003
NYC05CA003

On October 9, 2004, about 0930 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172M, N80657, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Eliot, Maine. The certificated private pilot, and a passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight that departed Bar Harbor, Maine, about 0740. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Pat 91.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that he intended to land at Skyhaven Airport (DAW), in Rochester, New Hampshire; however, he observed a layer of clouds about 200 to 400 feet above the ground, near the airport. The pilot elected to remain in the area for about 10 minutes, and did not observe any change in the cloud layer. He then elected to land at Pease International Airport (PSM), Portsmouth, New Hampshire; which was located about 14 miles south-southeast of DAW. While en route, the engine began to alternately lose and gain power, and the pilot performed a forced landing to a corn field.

During the landing, the nose gear separated, and both wings were damaged.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed no visible fuel in both of the airplane's fuel tanks. When the fuel line from carburetor was removed, it yielded, "a few drops of fuel." In addition, there was no evidence of a fuel spill in the area surrounding the accident site.

The airplane's Hobbs time at the accident site was 2728.0. The pilot did not add any fuel to the airplane prior to his flight. According to the airplane's owner and the rental log, the airplane had been operated for 4.4 hours since it was last refueled. The airplane's fuel system capacity included 38 gallons of useable fuel.

The pilot reported 1,200 hours of total flight experience, which included 300 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

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