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N5058R accident description

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Crash location 42.290555°N, 71.950000°W
Nearest city Paxton, MA
42.316758°N, 71.932852°W
2.0 miles away
Tail number N5058R
Accident date 04 Jul 2004
Aircraft type Cessna 150
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 4, 2004, at 2049 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150, N5058R, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Paxton, Massachusetts. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the flight, between Greenville Municipal Airport (3B1), Greenville, Maine, and Spencer Airport (60M), Spencer, Massachusetts. The personal flight, which departed Greenville at 1805, was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, he had flown from Greenville to Spencer previously, but during the accident flight, he decided to initially climb the airplane to 8,500 feet, which he had never done before. He flew at 8,500 feet for 45 minutes, then descended incrementally through the cruise portion of the flight, before making a final descent to 2,000 feet in the vicinity of Spencer Airport. During the final descent, about 2 miles from the destination, and after 2 hours and 44 minutes in flight, the engine stopped.

The pilot attempted to restart the engine, but was unsuccessful. He determined that there was insufficient altitude available to glide the airplane to the airport, and due to the terrain, he elected to perform a forced landing into trees.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane came to rest about 3/4 of a mile from Spencer Airport runway 19.

While on scene, the inspector found that the airplane had come to rest with the wings almost vertical, and with the left wing and the nose of the airplane pointed down. There was no sign of fuel leakage on either the airplane or the ground. The right fuel tank appeared to be empty, and the left fuel tank contained a small, unknown quantity of fuel.

The airplane was transported to the airport for further examination. When it was moved into an upright position, a total of 2.4 gallons of fuel were drained from the tanks. There was no fuel in the gascolater, and about a teaspoon of fuel was drained at the carburetor.

Also during the examination, engine compression was obtained on all cylinders, except the number 3, which had sustained impact damage. Spark was obtained from both magnetos. Fuel was provided to the engine, which was then started, and ran for about 2 seconds before stopping.

The inspector also noted that the pilot reported, that just before the accident, the left fuel tank gage had indicated empty, while the right fuel tank gage had indicated just above empty.

According to the pilot, he planned the trip for 2 hours 40 minutes, at a fuel consumption averaging 6 gallons of fuel per hour, based on previous flights. Prior to departure, he observed the left fuel tank to be full, and measured 7 gallons of fuel in the right fuel tank with a "FuelHawk" fuel gauge, which was calibrated for a Cessna 152.

According to their respective Information/Owner's Manuals, the Cessna 152 had two 13-gallon fuel tanks, with 0.75 gallons of unusable fuel in each tank, while the Cessna 150 also had two 13-gallon fuel tanks, but with 1.75 gallons of unusable fuel in each tank.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion and a subsequent forced landing. Factors included the pilot's use of a fuel gauge that was calibrated for a different model airplane, and a lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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