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N3831R accident description

Missouri map... Missouri list
Crash location 39.428889°N, 94.368889°W
Nearest city Holt, MO
39.452780°N, 94.342169°W
2.2 miles away
Tail number N3831R
Accident date 12 Apr 2003
Aircraft type Cessna 172H
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On April 12, 2003, at 1857 central daylight time, a Cessna 172H, N3831R, piloted by a commercial pilot, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during takeoff near Holt, Missouri. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot reported serious injuries. The local flight departed the Block Air Village Airport (MO71), Holt, Missouri, at 1845.

According to the pilot's written statement, the purpose of the flight was to circle the airport to warm the engine prior to an oil change. The pilot reported that he has no recollection of the accident flight. However, on the NTSB accident form, the pilot reported there was no mechanical malfunction or failure. The pilot stated the airplane had 8.0 gallons of fuel prior to the accident flight. The fuel was a 50/50 mix of automobile fuel and aviation 100-low lead fuel.

A witness to the accident reported the airplane had circled the airport and then entered a left downwind for the southeast grass runway. The witness stated the airplane landed longer than normal, and then he heard the engine power increase for a "touch & go." The witness stated the airplane rotated and climbed to approximately 50 feet when the engine lost power "with no backfire, miss, etc." The witness reported the airplane pitched down to "level flight and [approximately] 60 degree left bank was initiated." The witness stated that the airplane impacted trees off the left end of the runway.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration performed the on-scene investigation. The inspector reported the airplane was resting in a "slight nose down, right wing low attitude." The fuel selector was positioned on "Both." No fuel drained from either of the wing fuel tank sumps. No fuel drained from the fuel strainer, however it was defective and did not allow fuel to be drained. A visual check of the fuel tanks revealed no fuel in the right tank and approximately one inch of fuel in the left tank at the filler neck opening. No anomalies were found with the engine that could be associated with a pre-impact condition.

The FAA and the Cessna Aircraft Company were parties to the investigation.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning/preparation, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. A factor to the accident were the trees.

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