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N7953F accident description

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Crash location 39.564722°N, 79.375556°W
Nearest city Mchenry, MD
39.558422°N, 79.352817°W
1.3 miles away
Tail number N7953F
Accident date 02 Nov 2006
Aircraft type Cessna 150F
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On November 2, 2006, at 1210 eastern standard time, a Cessna 150F, N7953F, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near McHenry, Maryland. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed Garrett County Airport (2G4), Oakland, Maryland, destined for Grant County Airport (W99), Petersburg, West Virginia. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

During a telephone interview, and during an interview conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot recounted the events that transpired prior to and during the accident flight. He stated that the airplane was based at Pottstown/Limerick Airport (PTW), Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Prior to departing from Pottstown, the pilot serviced the airplane with 18.9 gallons of fuel. The pilot stated that 6 gallons were added to the left fuel tank, and that the right fuel tank was "topped off." He then verified the fuel quantity by visually examining the level in the fuel tanks. The pilot routinely flew from Pottstown to Garrett County, a flight which typically lasted about 2 hours. The flight immediately prior to the accident flight took slightly longer than 2 hours, with no mechanical abnormalities noted during the flight. The airplane was not serviced with fuel after that flight, or prior to the accident flight.

On the day of the accident, the pilot performed a preflight inspection of the airplane, which did not include a visual verification of the fuel level, and completed a run up check of the engine prior to takeoff. He assumed, based on past flying experience, about 7 gallons of fuel remained in the tanks. The takeoff proceeded normally; however, about 1 minute later the engine began to "sputter." The pilot notified the airport via the Unicom frequency that the airplane was having engine problems, and turned back towards the airport. He then realized that he would not be able to make it back to the airport, and chose a field to perform a forced landing to. During the landing, the right wing of the airplane struck several small trees and a fence, resulting in substantial damage.

FAA inspectors examined the airplane at the accident site. According to the inspectors, when power was applied to the fuel quantity indicating system, the right fuel tank gauge displayed an empty indication, and the left fuel gauge was slightly below the empty indication. Damage to the right fuel tank sump precluded any sampling, and fuel drained from the left fuel tank sump was "good." No fuel could be drained from the gascolator. The airplane was subsequently recovered on November 11, 2006. During the recovery efforts, less than one gallon of fuel was drained from each fuel tank. When fuel was added, the engine was successfully started and run.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued on August 26, 2006. The pilot reported to the Safety Board that he had approximately 1,100 total hours of flight experience at the time of the accident.

The weather conditions reported at Greater Cumberland Regional Airport (CBE), Cumberland, Maryland, about 27 nautical miles east, at 1153, included clear skies, winds from 290 degrees at 9 knots, gusting to 21 knots, temperature 44 degrees Fahrenheit, dewpoint 27 degrees Fahrenheit, and an altimeter setting of 30.16 inches of mercury.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a loss of engine power during takeoff-initial climb.

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