On March 27, 2010, about 1450 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172G, N5880R, collided with power lines 2 miles east of the Anacortes Airport, Anacortes, Washington. The private pilot operated the rental airplane under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. The pilot was seriously injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Anacortes about 1430.

The sheriff reported to the Safety Board investigator that when he arrived on-scene the airplane was on the ground inverted, and it appeared to have clipped some power lines prior to impacting the terrain. The pilot had received a head injury and was transported to a hospital.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who was on-scene reported that he examined the fuel system and found no evidence of fuel on board the airplane. According to the aircraft logsheet, the pilot signed out the airplane at 1,220.12 hours tach time, and the tach reading at the accident scene was 1,220.8 hours; equating to 40 minutes of engine operation.

On March 26 the airplane had been rented to a pilot who flew to Roche Harbor, Washington, and back to Anacortes. He said that before he left Anacortes the airplane had about 9 gallons of fuel in each fuel tank. He did not fuel the airplane and knew he would have enough fuel to fly to Roche Harbor and back, but the airplane would need fuel when he was done with his flight.

On March 27 the accident pilot checked the airplane out from 1400 to 1600. The accident pilot was asked by personnel at Land and Sea Aircraft Sales and Leasing if he wanted fuel, and he said, "No, I'll be ok." The accident pilot was seen on a step stool looking into the fuel tanks during his preflight.

The pilot stated to a FAA inspector that he checked the fuel level with a dipstick and had about 1/4 tank of fuel in each wing. He flew east to Skagit Bay View Airport, performed 2 touch-and-go landings, flew around Mt Erie, then headed west back to Anacortes. While en route to Anacortes the engine experienced a loss of engine power. Prior to the loss of engine power the engine was operating normally.

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