Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Fuel Starvation: Cessna 172F Skyhawk, N7871U; accident occurred October 04, 2019 in Kaplan, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Location: Kaplan, LA
Accident Number: GAA20CA006
Date & Time: 10/04/2019, 1930 CDT
Registration: N7871U
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel starvation
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

The pilot reported that the airplane departed with 39 gallons of fuel, and about 1 hour and 40 minutes after departure the engine lost power. He adjusted the fuel mixture and throttle, with no effect. While maneuvering for an off-airport landing, the left wing impacted a pole and rotated the airplane counterclockwise. Subsequently, the nose landing gear collapsed and the airplane came to rest in an open field.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the engine mount, fuselage and both wings.

The pilot reported that there were no pre-accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The sheriff's deputy, that responded to the accident, observed that there was fuel pouring out of the left wing of the airplane.

The Federal Aviation Administrator inspector who examined the airplane reported that the fuel selector lever was on the right tank selected position. The right wing tank contained about 8-10 oz. of fuel remaining with no visible signs of leakage. Upon removal of wing to fuselage lower trim panel it was noted that the vent line and fuel supply lines were intact and secured. The left wing tank contained about 4.5 gallons. Visual evidence of fuel seepage stains were observed on forward part of pilot door. The inspector further added that the overall engine condition was good. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 56, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/27/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/03/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 250 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N7871U
Model/Series: 172 F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1964
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 17251871
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/22/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  3951.67 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A4M
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night/Dark
Observation Facility, Elevation: KIYA, 50 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0055 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 79°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 5000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 24°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Houston, TX (DWH)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: New Iberia, LA (ARA)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1750 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 29.937222, -92.319722 (est)

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