The pilot of the Cessna Cardinal reported that the engine experienced a total loss of power while in cruise flight near Elcho, Wis. He attempted to restart the engine without success, so he made a forced landing on a snow-covered field.
Upon landing, the plane nosed over and then came to rest on its back. The plane sustained substantial damage, including damage to both wings and the horizontal stabilizer.
The pilot said that he decided not to refuel before the flight because his fuel calculations showed that he should have had at least 30 minutes of fuel reserve upon arrival at the destination airport, however, he did not use a calibrated instrument in determining the preflight fuel quantity.
He further stated that the accident could have been prevented if he had refueled before the flight.
The NTSB determined the probable cause was the pilot’s inadequate preflight and in-flight fuel management, which led to a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.
NTSB Identification: CEN13CA175
This February 2013 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.