The pilot reported that, after the takeoff he switched to the Cessna 177’s right fuel tank to verify that it was working, and then switched back to the left tank to run it dry for upcoming maintenance.
When the engine began to sputter, he switched to the right tank, but the engine lost all power, despite turning the fuel pump on, pumping the throttle, and again switching back to the left tank.
He force landed the airplane to a dirt field near White Swan, Washington, where the nose landing gear collapsed, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage.
The pilot examined the fuel tanks and discovered that the left tank had about two gallons remaining, and the right tank had about 15 gallons remaining.
Probable Cause: A total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot’s improper fuel management.
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This October 2021 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.