NTSB Identification: NYC96FA078.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 24, 1996 in WARWICK, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/23/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 150J, registration: N5587G
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot/owner and a certified flight instructor (CFI) flew a 1 hour training flight and terminated at another airport. The CFI deplaned to fly with another pilot, while the accident pilot departed for her home field, about 14 miles to the south. About 40 minutes later, witnesses observed the airplane about 100 feet above the ground and heard the engine sputtering. The airplane crashed in a wooded area, about 1 mile southwest of the destination airport. Two large fields were located on both sides of the wooded area. Examination of the fuselage revealed no preimpact failure of the airframe, and the flaps were found retracted. The engine was test run satisfactorily. The wing fuel tanks were not ruptured; the right tank contained 1.25 gallons; and the left tank contained .58 gallons of fuel. The owner's manual listed 3.5 gallons of fuel unusable. The pilot had not flown in 4 months, and about 47 months had elapsed since her last biennial flight review. Also, 15 months had elapsed since the airplane's last annual inspection. The CFI did not review the pilot's or airplane's log books, or verify fuel quantity, prior to the first flight.

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

the pilot's mismanagement of the fuel supply, which resulted in fuel exhaustion. A related factor was the pilot's lack of recent experience.

Full narrative available

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