Poor fuel management leads to crash

This June 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Cessna 177.
Location: Centreville, Ala.
Injuries: None.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot, who had a commercial certificate, was conducting a personal cross-country flight. He said the fuel gauges read between one-quarter and empty when the engine lost power. He made a forced landing on a dirt road. During the roll out the airplane hit trees. The pilot told investigators that he had run out of fuel.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to refuel the airplane prior to fuel exhaustion.

For more information: NTSB.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?ev_id=20070703X00862&ntsbno=ANC07LA045&akey=1.

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