Thursday, December 28, 2017

Fuel Exhaustion: Cessna 182P Skylane, N1800M; accident occurred June 22, 2017 near Doniphan Municipal Airport (X33), Ripley County, Missouri

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; St. Ann, Missouri

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Doniphan, MO
Accident Number: GAA17CA361
Date & Time: 06/22/2017, 2005 CDT
Registration: N1800M
Aircraft: CESSNA 182
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The private pilot reported that near the conclusion of a long cross-country flight, the engine suddenly lost partial power. He declared an emergency with air traffic control, and was advised that the nearest airport was about 5 miles behind him. He reversed course and began heading towards the airport. Unable to reach the airport, the pilot initiated a landing to an open field. During the landing roll, the airplane collided with a fence and a detached garage. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, empennage, and both wings.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed blue colored fuel streaking from the right wing fuel cap to the trailing edge of the flap. Both fuel tanks were empty.

The pilot reported that he was aware of the right wing fuel cap leak prior to the accident flight. The fuel cap had been leaking since he purchased the airplane about six months prior to the accident. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper decision to take off with a known fuel leak, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. 


Fuel system - Malfunction (Cause)
Fuel - Fluid level (Cause)
Fuel system - Not serviced/maintained

Personnel issues
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Fence/fence post - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Fuel exhaustion (Defining event)
Loss of engine power (partial)

Off-field or emergency landing

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 34, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/20/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/01/2016
Flight Time: (Estimated) 237.6 hours (Total, all aircraft), 109.1 hours (Total, this make and model), 201.3 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 12.7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N1800M
Model/Series: 182 P
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18264452
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2950 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5555 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-470-U13B
Registered Owner: CAPE FLYERS LLC
Rated Power: hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Fractional Ownership 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPOF, 327 ft msl
Observation Time: 0053 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 73°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 26°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 7000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.74 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: KILLEEN, TX (ILE)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Type of Clearance: VFR; VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1600 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  36.679444, -90.719444 (est)


  1. Uh, what ever happened to periodically reading the fuel gauges?

    Well, at least there was no fatality.

    A gas cap seal costs about $18.00.

  2. seriously dude? i think my blind dog would be a better pilot. bet he wont be flying any time soon.