NTSB Identification: LAX94LA335.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Saturday, August 20, 1994 in SIMI VALLEY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/24/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N739VY
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE STUDENT WAS ENROLLED IN AN FAA-APPROVED PART 141 SCHOOL. HE PLANNED TO BEGIN A SOLO CROSS-COUNTRY FLIGHT AT 1415 PDT, BUT DID NOT DEPART UNTIL 1505. THE FLIGHT WAS TO BE A 3.3-HOUR-LONG ROUND-ROBIN TRIP TO LAUGHLIN, PARKER, BLYTHE, PALM SPRINGS, AND BACK TO BIG BEAR CITY. AT 1927, THE PILOT LANDED AT PALM SPRINGS, BOUGHT 10 GALLONS OF FUEL FOR THE 32-MILE RETURN FLIGHT HOME, AND TOOK OFF AT 1950. EN ROUTE, LIGHT CONDITIONS BECAME DARK. THE PILOT HAD NO NIGHT FLYING EXPERIENCE AND WAS UNABLE TO TURN ON THE CABIN LIGHTS OR COMMUNICATE VIA RADIO. AFTER FLYING WESTBOUND FOR ABOUT 100 MILES AND 2.5 HOURS, ALL FUEL WAS EXHAUSTED. THE PILOT MADE AN EMERGENCY LANDING ON A STREET, AND THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED HEAD-ON WITH AN AUTOMOBILE. THE AUTOMOBILE DRIVER RECEIVED MINOR INJURIES, AND THE PASSENGER OF THE AUTOMOBILE WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED. A REVIEWED OF THE STUDENT'S TRAINING RECORDS REVEALED THAT HIS INSTRUCTOR (CFI) HAD NOT FOLLOWED THE REQUIRED FAA-APPROVED SYLLABUS. SPECIFICALLY, THE CFI HAD NOT PROVIDED THE REQUIRED INSTRUCTION BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD PHASE CHECKS, AND HE FAILED TO ENSURE THAT THE STUDENT HAD THE REQUIRED NIGHTTIME FLIGHT TRAINING BEFORE ASSIGNING THE SOLO CROSS-COUNTRY FLIGHT.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

FUEL EXHAUSTION AFTER THE STUDENT PILOT BECAME LOST/DISORIENTED. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: FAILURE OF THE SUPERVISING FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR (CFI) TO FOLLOW THE FAA APPROVED SYLLABUS, INADEQUATE SUPERVISION BY THE COMPANY/OPERATOR MANAGEMENT, DARKNESS, AND THE STUDENT'S LACK OF NIGHT FLYING EXPERIENCE.

Full narrative available

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