ATL05CA063
ATL05CA063

On March 18, 2005, at 1853 Eastern Standard Time, a Cessna 175, N7148M, registered to AIRSIGN LLC, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 positioning flight , reported a loss of engine power while in cruise flight and made an emergency landing to a parking lot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane received substantial damage. The commercial pilot reported minor injuries. The flight originated from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina, on March 18, 2005, between 1848 and 1850.

The pilot stated he departed Charlotte and climbed to 2,000 feet and was flight following with Charlotte Approach Control. The engine sputtered and quit. He pulled the carburetor heat out, checked the magnetos, mixture full rich, and verified with his hand that the fuel selector was on both. He made a left turn back towards the airport and declared an emergency. The pilot stated he was cleared by the controller to land on runway 18. The pilot informed the controller he was unable to make the runway and he was making an emergency landing on a road. The pilot observed a parking lot and made an emergency landing under some wires. The airplane bounced on touch down, collided with a curb, nosed over inverted against a bolder, and a private automobile.

The pilot stated in a subsequent statement that his mechanic changed the oil in his airplane before the first flight of the day. The mechanic informed the pilot that he had moved the fuel selector to the off position. The pilot stated he did not check the fuel selector valve during his preflight nor did he visually check the fuel selector when the engine quit.. The pilot stated, "I screwed up by not verifying the fuel selector valve position which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel starvation." On scene examination of the fuel selector valve by the FAA revealed the fuel selector valve was in the off position, and no anomalies were noted with the fuel selector valve.

Review of the Cessna 175 Owner's Manual states in Figure 10. Exterior Inspection Diagram, "1. b. Turn off master switch, check ignition switch for "OFF" position, check tank selector on "BOTH." The Owner's Manual further sates on page 2-4, "BEFORE LANDING. (1) Set fuel selector to "both tanks."

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