The owner of the Cessna 182 and a flight instructor departed on a 90-minute flight, which included multiple practice takeoffs and landings at three different airports.
The flight instructor had about 5,300 hours, which included more than 500 hours in C-182s.The private pilot reported about 230 hours, including about 90 hours in C-182s.
When the airplane was at an altitude of about 2,000 feet MSL, it experienced a loss of engine power.
The flight instructor assumed control of the airplane and noted that the right fuel tank gauge indicated “empty” and that the left fuel tank gauge indicated about a quarter of a tank. The CFI’s attempts to restore power were unsuccessful and the CFI made a forced landing in a grass field in Clewiston, Fla.
Neither the CFI or pilot/owner were injured.
Both fuel tanks were found intact. The right fuel tank was empty, and the left fuel tank contained about seven gallons of uncontaminated fuel, which was only two gallons more than the reported usable fuel.
The flight instructor stated that the engine continued to operate at low power during the forced landing, however, investigators noted the lack of rotational damage on the propeller assembly was consistent with a total loss of engine power.
Investigators determined that, although the reported temperature and dew point about the time of the accident were conducive to the accumulation of carburetor icing at cruise power, given the low fuel state at the time of the power loss, it was more likely that the engine lost power due to fuel starvation.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the private pilot’s inadequate preflight planning and fuel management and the flight instructor’s inadequate supervision, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.
NTSB Identification: ERA13LA239
This May 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.