Fuel exhaustion Accident Cessna 172E N5638T, Thursday 12 April 2001
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Date:Thursday 12 April 2001
Time:21:46
Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna 172E
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N5638T
MSN: 17251538
Year of manufacture:1964
Total airframe hrs:3329 hours
Engine model:Continental O-300-D
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Category:Accident
Location:Bay City, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Junction, TX (JCT)
Destination airport:Baycity, TX (3R1)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
The night cross country visual flight rules flight had been airborne for 3 hours and 37 minutes when the instrument rated pilot reported to a local flight service station (FSS) that he had 10 minutes of fuel on board, and was disoriented. The FSS connected the pilot with the Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center, who provided radar vectors to the nearest airport. However, 10 minutes later the pilot reported that he had run out of fuel and, subsequently, the final radar return was received. The airplane impacted a fence and trees 10 miles north of the destination airport. Review of the radar track revealed that, during the final 36 minutes of the flight, the airplane was not maintaining a constant altitude and had been making "S" turns, 360-degree turns, and at one point had flown past the destination airport. Marginal visual meteorological conditions and patchy instrument meteorological conditions existed near the accident site and destination airport. There was no record of the pilot having received a weather briefing from a flight service station prior to or during the flight. The airplane was examined and the integrity of the fuel system was confirmed. Further examination of the fuel system revealed that only unusable fuel was present in the fuel system. No anomalies were found with the airframe or engine that would have precluded operation of the airplane.
Probable Cause: the pilot's delay in taking remedial action (contacting ATC) after he became lost/disoriented during a night cross country flight, which resulted in a forced landing due to fuel exhaustion. Contributing factors to the accident were the pilot's failure to contact a flight service station for a weather briefing, the low clouds and dark night light conditions.

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: FTW01FA098
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20010417X00768&key=1

Location

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
10-Dec-2017 11:16 ASN Update Bot Updated [Source, Narrative]

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