Fuel exhaustion Accident Cessna 172F Skyhawk N5419R, Monday 17 October 2011
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Date:Monday 17 October 2011
Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna 172F Skyhawk
Owner/operator:N5419R LLC
Registration: N5419R
MSN: 17252962
Year of manufacture:1965
Total airframe hrs:4546 hours
Engine model:Continental 0-300 SER
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:About 2 miles from DeKalb Peachtree Airport - KPDK, GA -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Hilton Head, SC (HDX)
Destination airport:Atlanta, GA (PDK)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
According to the pilot, prior to departure, he calculated that he had 3.5 hours of usable fuel for the 2-hour-15-minute flight. He also indicated that the airplane’s average fuel consumption was 8 gallons per hour. He performed a preflight inspection and noted that the fuel gauges indicated about three-quarters full, which he believed to be about 20 to 30 gallons of fuel. During climbout, the oil door on the engine cowling opened, and the pilot returned to the departure airport to close it. After landing, the pilot taxied to the ramp to secure the door and then departed again. The cross-country flight was uneventful, but, when the airplane was on a gradual descent about 6 miles from the destination airport, the engine lost total power. The pilot attempted to continue to the destination airport, but the airplane descended into trees and impacted the ground in a residential area, resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage, wings, and empennage. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the fuel tanks were not breached; recovery personnel removed a total of 1.5 gallons of fuel from the airplane. An examination of the engine revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot believed that the airplane had a fuel capacity of 42 gallons. According to the owner's manual, the airplane had a fuel capacity of 39 gallons, of which 36 gallons were usable.
Probable Cause: The pilot's inadequate preflight planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA12CA036
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 months
Download report: Final report




[LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:http://www.flightops1.com/images/N5419r_at_new_smyrna_beach.jpg] (photo)



Revision history:

18-Oct-2011 10:10 RobertMB Added
18-Oct-2011 15:41 RobertMB Updated [Time, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
20-Oct-2011 12:43 Anon. Updated [Embed code]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 17:20 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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