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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN17LA060
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 21, 2016 in Millersburg, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/06/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 175C, registration: N8381T
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot was conducting a personal cross-country flight. The pilot reported that, after takeoff, he switched to the left fuel tank for the cruise portion of the flight. He added that, about 5 miles from the destination airport, he completed the Before Landing checklist; however, he "failed to position the fuel selector to [the] both" position at that time, which "set the stage for fuel exhaustion." The engine subsequently lost power. He checked the fuel selector, found that it was still set to the left tank, and moved it to the right tank. He subsequently executed a forced landing to an open area at the base of a hill, during which the airplane impacted a fence and sustained substantial damage to the firewall and right wing. The pilot stated that no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane preceded the accident. The pilot’s failure to move the fuel selector handle to the “both” position in accordance with the Before Landing checklist resulted in the loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's improper in-flight fuel management and his failure to switch the fuel selector to the “both” position in accordance with the Before Landing checklist, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.