NTSB Identification: LAX96LA145.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 24, 1996 in CARLSBAD, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N24963
Injuries: 2 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.

According to responding police officers, the pilot stated that the airplane ran out of fuel, while in flight at night. Subsequently, it collided with ground obstructions (trees) during a forced landing and was damaged. The officers observed only residual fuel in the tanks. In a written statement, the pilot said that during his preflight inspection, he looked inside the fuel tanks and noted that the fuel was about 1 to 2 inches below the filler neck. He assumed that the fuel gauges, which indicated over 3/4 full, were correct; and he estimated that about 2 hours 45 minutes of fuel was onboard. The pilot did not use a calibrated dipstick or other definitive means to quantify the amount of fuel in the tanks. He said that when the engine began to run rough, he looked at the fuel gauges, and they read zero.

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

inadequate preflight by the pilot, and subsequent fuel exhaustion, due to an inadequate supply of fuel. Darkness and trees in the emergency landing area were related factors.

Full narrative available

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