CHI06CA093
CHI06CA093

On March 17, 2006, about 1515 eastern standard time, a Cessna 182G, N3675U, piloted by a dual student and a flight instructor, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Lebanon, Indiana. The instructional flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time. The student and flight instructor were not injured. The local flight departed Boone County Airport (6I4), Lebanon, Indiana, approximately 1445.

The flight instructor reported that he conducted a pre-flight inspection and "checked with [the dual student] regarding the fuel levels. [The dual student] indicated that he had sumped the tanks and they had a minimum of 1/2 full on both sides." The flight instructor stated that the left fuel tank gauge indicated 1/2 full, and the right fuel tank gauge indicated between 1/2 and 3/4 full prior to the flight.

The flight instructor stated that after takeoff the flight proceeded approximately 10 miles north of the airport in order to practice private pilot ground reference maneuvers. He reported that after approximately 25 minutes "the engine began sputtering and died." He noted that he assumed control of the airplane and established best glide airspeed. His attempts to restore engine power were not successful.

The flight instructor noted that he subsequently executed a forced landing to a field, touching down approximately 55 knots. The airplane had slowed to approximately 20 knots when it encountered a "shallow ravine." The nose wheel "dug into the ground" causing the airplane to nose over, according to the flight instructor.

Concerning recommendations on preventing the accident, the flight instructor stated: "My regular routine pre-flight involves visually checking the fuel levels. On this particular day, I conferred with [the dual student] and relied upon his inspection of the fuel tanks. . . . Looking back, I did not question [the dual student] thoroughly on the details of how he checked the [fuel] levels, nor did I do a visual verification on the fuel tanks."

A post accident inspection conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector determined there was no useable fuel in the fuel tanks or fuel lines. In addition, no evidence of a fuel spill or fuel cap leak was observed at the accident site.

The FAA inspector also determined that the airplane had flown approximately 4.8 hours since it was last refueled. The airplane's fuel capacity was 79 gallons, and the normal fuel burn ranged from 15 to 18 gallons per hour.

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