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N8896U accident description

Missouri map... Missouri list
Crash location 39.761944°N, 93.013333°W
Nearest city Brookfield, MO
39.783080°N, 93.072979°W
3.5 miles away
Tail number N8896U
Accident date 11 Aug 2015
Aircraft type Cessna 150
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On August 11, 2015, about 1550 central daylight time, a Cessna 150M airplane, N8896U, impacted terrain following a loss of engine power near Brookfield, Missouri. The private pilot and his passenger were uninjured. The airplane sustained substantial firewall damage. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area about the time of the accident, and the flight was not operating on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Chillicothe Municipal Airport (CHT), near Chillicothe, Missouri, about 1500, and was destined for the North Central Missouri Regional Airport (MO8), near Brookfield, Missouri.

According to the pilot's accident report, he departed from MO8 to CHT with the fuel gauges indicating that they "were at half a tank." He stated that he planned to use a total of 4.2 gallons during the flight and thought that the airplane had 10 to 11 gallons of fuel in its tanks. He performed a touch and go landing at CHT and flew over a friend's house on the return flight to MO8. The pilot, in part, reported:

On final around a mile out the engine sputtered at around 400 [feet

above ground level] with flaps at 30 [degrees] flaps and at a airspeed of

75 knots. At that time the engine fully stopped, and I had to start

emergency procedures because I decided that we would not make it to

runway. I found a field on the left of final that was [suitable] for landing.

The airport manager at MO8 said that about 1615 in the afternoon, a young woman and a young man arrived at the airport office. According to the manager, the woman came in to report the accident and indicated that she was a passenger on the flight. The manager subsequently went to the accident site and observed the airplane wreckage on the ground in a pasture. The landing rollout carried the airplane through a wire fence and it came to rest on the gravel road alongside the pasture. The nose landing gear separated from the airplane. The airplane came to rest in a tail high and nose-low attitude on the gravel surface. The manager noted that there was some fuel trickling from the fuel line that was dangling from underneath the cowling. He did not see a "substantial" amount of fuel and estimated that he saw a few tablespoons full of gas "with no apparent accumulation."

N8896U, a 1976 model Cessna 150M, serial number 15078017, was a single engine, all-metal airplane of semimonocoque construction. The airplane incorporated a strutted high-wing design with a fixed tricycle landing gear, and it could accommodate two occupants. According to the airplane owner's manual, the airplane's standard fuel tanks hold 26 gallons of fuel and the optional long-range tanks hold 38 gallons. The unusable fuel in the fuel tanks is 3.5 gallons and 3 gallons respectively. The exterior preflight inspection checklist, published in the owner's manual, directs the pilot to visually check each fuel tank before flight. According to the airplane owner, the last airplane annual inspection was completed on August 8, 2015.

Before the airplane was recovered, first responders looked in the fuel tanks and observed about one gallon of fuel in the left tank and the right tank was empty. Federal Aviation Administration inspectors examined the recovered wreckage and observed that there was no useable fuel in the fuel tanks. The inspectors also did not see any preimpact anomalies that would have prevented normal operation of the airplane.

The pilot subsequently confirmed that "there was not [a] physical check of fuel levels, the amount of fuel on board was determined from the reading on the gauges."

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to visually check the quantity of fuel in the fuel tanks in accordance with the Preflight checklist, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion and the subsequent forced landing.

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