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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 162501
Last updated: 7 July 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C150 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 150L
Registration: N16078
C/n / msn: 15073460
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Hopewell community, Jefferson County, AL -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Courtland, AL (9A4)
Destination airport:Bessemer, AL (EKY)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot reported that, before departure, she checked the fuel gauges and estimated that the fuel tanks were just under 1/2 full and contained no less than 10 gallons of fuel. (The total fuel capacity was 26 gallons, of which 3.5 gallons were unusable.) She was unable to measure the fuel because she had dropped the measuring stick into the fuel tank. The flight departed, and, about 1 hour 15 minutes after departure and about 10 miles from the destination airport, the engine lost total power. The pilot unsuccessfully tried to restart the engine and subsequently performed a forced landing to a field.

No anomalies were found with the engine that would have precluded normal operation. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the fuel tanks were not breached and that they contained a total of 1/2 gallon of fuel. The pilot reported that, before departing the airport, she checked the weather, which indicated that wind aloft conditions were a left quartering headwind at 6 knots. However, the wind aloft report from a station about 10 nautical miles from the accident location indicated that the wind aloft conditions ranged from a quartering headwind of 10 to 35 knots depending on the altitude of flight, which increased the duration of the flight.

The pilot stated that the engine consumed about 4.4 to 5.6 gallons of fuel per hour; however, a review of the airplane owner’s manual performance charts revealed that the engine could consume up to 7 gallons of fuel per hour. Because of the headwind, the flight was 1 hour 15 minutes, which would have required up to 8.75 gallons of fuel; however, the pilot took off with about 6.5 to 8.5 gallons of usable fuel. Thus, it is likely that the airplane did not have enough fuel to reach the destination airport, and the engine lost total power as a result of fuel exhaustion.

Probable Cause: A total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion, which resulted from the pilot’s inadequate preflight inspection and preflight and inflight fuel planning that did not account for increased headwind.


FAA register:

Revision history:

25-Nov-2013 19:58 gerard57 Added
25-Nov-2013 20:00 harro Updated [Registration, Location, Destination airport, Embed code]
26-Nov-2013 17:42 Geno Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Total occupants, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
29-Nov-2017 09:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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