The pilot reported that during a night visual meteorological condition flight, he was receiving flight following from air traffic control and had to divert around convective weather.
About 7 nautical miles from his destination airport, the Cessna 172’s fuel supply was exhausted and the engine lost power. The pilot was able to touchdown on an interstate near Covington, Georgia, but during the landing roll the right wing hit a sign, sustaining substantial damage.
During a post-accident interview with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that he was aware of the weather en-route, but he did not anticipate the length of diversion he received from air traffic control.
He added he should have departed with full fuel.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper fuel planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA483
This September 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.