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N8226L accident description

Minnesota map... Minnesota list
Crash location 44.589444°N, 92.485000°W
Nearest city Red Wing, MN
44.562468°N, 92.533801°W
3.0 miles away
Tail number N8226L
Accident date 24 Jul 2003
Aircraft type Cessna 172H
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 24, 2003, about 1110 central daylight time, a Cessna 172H, N8226L, piloted by a student pilot, sustained substantial damage on impact with a localizer antenna during a forced landing following an in-flight loss of engine power on initial climb out from runway 9 at Red Wing Regional Airport (RGK), near Red Wing, Minnesota. The solo instructional flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The pilot reported no injuries. The local flight originated from RGK about 1030 and was performing touch and goes at the time of the accident.

The student pilot stated:

I was doing touch [and] go's. I was taking off for my third touch

[and] go when about 100 ft off the ground the engine sputtered. I

pulled the throttle back a notch and it started going again so I slowly

pushed the throttle back in [and] it died. So I decided to land the

plane off of the end of the runway. I descended then realized the

localizer antenna was ahead of me. So then I tried to land on the

other side of it but was afraid of stalling so then I hit the antenna

[and] all three wheels touched but the antenna broke the left wheel

[and] the nose went into the ground. The windshield broke [and] I

came to a stop. ... I departed Red Wing about 10:30 a.m. [and] was

up about 1/2 hour when the engine failure occurred.

A Federal Aviation Administration Inspector examined the wreckage. He found the fuel selector valve handle set to the right fuel tank. The right fuel tank was empty. The left fuel tank contained about five gallons of fuel. There was no sign of a fuel spill at the scene. The engine produced a thumb compression at all cylinders. Both magnetos sparked. Removed spark plugs exhibited a light gray color. The engine was not test run.

The student pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions during the flight.

A checklist from the airplane stated, "BEFORE TAKE OFF ... Fuel Selector Valve Handle - BOTH."

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to follow the checklist resulting in fuel starvation and subsequent loss of engine power.

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