The pilot reported that before the flight the fuel tanks were “topped off with fuel” and, after being distracted, a second walk around the airplane was not properly conducted.
He further reported that after about an hour of flight the engine lost power and he was forced to maneuver for an emergency landing. During the emergency landing, he reported that his initial approach was to an interstate, but due to thick traffic he made a turn towards a landfill near Hogansville, Georgia, and hit terrain.
The Cessna 182 sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.
After the accident, the passenger received a telephone call from the departure airport fuel service attendant stating that the airplane’s left fuel cap was on the airport ramp.
During a post-accident examination by the pilot, it was revealed that the left fuel cap was missing.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to replace the left fuel cap following the preflight inspection, which resulted in fuel exhaustion, a loss of engine power, an emergency landing, and impact with terrain.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA387
This July 2016 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.