Monday, April 17, 2017

Cessna 172C Skyhawk, N288GB: Accident occurred June 29, 2016 in Gray, Jones County, Georgia

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

NTSB Identification: ERA16CA277 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 29, 2016 in Gray, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N288GB
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial pilot, his passenger, and his 80- to 100-lb dog were on a cross-country flight and had just leveled off at 2,500 ft when the engine suddenly stopped producing power. The pilot was unable to restart the engine and made a forced landing to a field. During the landing, the airplane struck a tree and a fence, which resulted in substantial damage to the firewall, fuselage, and wings. 

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the right fuel tank had 15 gallons of fuel in it and that the left tank was empty. The fuel selector valve was found between the "left" and "both" tank positions. The front right seat had been removed before the flight to accommodate the pilot's dog, who sat on the floor during the flight. The pilot said he departed with the fuel selector valve in the "both" position, but during the flight, the dog must have inadvertently moved the valve's handle toward the "left" tank position, which resulted in the loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. A functional check of the fuel selector valve revealed no mechanical issues, and the valve seated securely into each detent. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical deficiencies with the engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's failure to properly manage the available fuel supply, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

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