The Cessna 182 departed from a private airport that did not have fuel available for purchase. The pilot elected to refuel while en route to his destination instead of other airports located near the departure airport.
The pilot further reported that upon reaching the airport that he intended to refuel at, he found it was closed and diverted to another airport. At that time, he noticed that the fuel gauge needles were “bouncing off empty.”
The airplane subsequently experienced a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion and the pilot performed a forced landing to a field near Middletown Springs, Vermont, which resulted in substantial damage to the firewall and forward portion of the fuselage, as well as two minor injuries.
The pilot stated that he had he received a full weather briefing prior to the flight, he would have known about the closed airport and planned accordingly.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s inadequate preflight planning, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.
NTSB Identification: ERA13CA427
This September 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.