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N5628E accident description

Arkansas map... Arkansas list
Crash location 33.227778°N, 93.216667°W
Nearest city Magnolia, AR
33.267072°N, 93.239334°W
3.0 miles away
Tail number N5628E
Accident date 13 Apr 2004
Aircraft type Cessna 150
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On April 13, 2004, at 1920 central daylight time, a Cessna 150 single-engine airplane, N5628E, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near the Magnolia Municipal Airport (AGO), near Magnolia, Arkansas. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that departed South Arkansas Regional Airport (ELD) near El Dorado, Arkansas, about 1900.

According to the pilot, he was on a long cross country flight from Athens, Georgia, to Greenville, Texas, and landed at the South Arkansas Regional Airport to purchase fuel. Upon landing he noticed "that everything was shut down for the day." The pilot talked with a man in the terminal building, who informed him that he would have to wait about an hour for fuel service and he would have to pay a $30.00 "call-out" fee. He elected to fly to Magnolia Municipal Airport, which was about 20 miles west, to purchase fuel. Before departing, the pilot said that he performed a preflight inspection for the airplane, which included a visual inspection of the fuel tanks. He grabbed a broom from the back of the fuel truck and "stuck it in the fuel tank to check the level better." He reported that the left tank was just under 1/2-full, and the right tank was about 1/4-full.

The pilot stated that when he was approximately 10 miles from the Magnolia Municipal Airport, the engine started to "vibrate." He turned on the carburetor heat and the engine lost 200 to 300 rpm. When the pilot turned off the carburetor heat, gasoline fumes engulfed the cockpit. He reported that the fumes were so strong that they made his "eyes water." He then leaned the mixture and the engine ran "much better." The pilot stated that when he pushed the mixture control back in, the engine stopped producing power. He landed in a field, and the right main landing gear separated when it hit a "dip."

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, who responded to the accident site, the right main and nose landing gear were separated. The firewall and fuselage were wrinkled, and both wing tips were bent upwards. Examination of the fuel tanks revealed they were empty and there was no evidence of a fuel spill or leaks. A Safety Board investigator performed an examination of the fuel system and found no anomalies.

According to the Columbia County Sheriff's Department incident report, the pilot told the on-scene officer that he had run out of fuel.

In addition, the pilot reported that on the day of the accident, he purchased 15.2 gallons of fuel at Jackson County Airport (19A), Jefferson, Georgia on the day of the accident, which "topped off" both fuel tanks. However, a fuel receipt obtained from the airport revealed that the pilot had purchased 23.16 gallons of 100 LL aviation gasoline on April 11, 2004. The pilot also reported that he had landed at Walker County Airport (JFX), Jasper, Alabama, on the day of the accident and topped off both tanks with 10.1 gallons of fuel. According to a receipt obtained from Vulcan Aero Services, the pilot purchased 21.4 gallons of 100 LL fuel on April 13, 2004.

According to the Pilot Operating Handbook, page 2-1, the airplane was equipped with two standard fuel tanks, one in each wing. The total fuel capacity was 26 gallons (13 gallons each tank), and the total usable fuel capacity was 22.5 gallons (11.25 gallons each tank).

The pilot reported a total of 288 flight hours, of which 88 hours were in make and model.

The weather reported at South Arkansas Regional Airport at 1953 was reported as wind from 300 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, and clear skies.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's improper pre-flight planning, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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