NTSB Identification: LAX96LA276.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 18, 1996 in MERCED, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/16/1996
Aircraft: Cessna A188B, registration: N731YT
Injuries: 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 pilot reported that he was returning to his base from spraying sulfur on crop fields near Merced when the engine suddenly quit. The pilot set up for a landing on a highway, but discontinued the approach when he observed there were many vehicles on the road. The pilot landed in a railroad right of way and collided with fence and sign posts during the ground roll. FAA inspectors examined the aircraft. No fuel was found in the aircraft tanks, which were determined to be intact. Only minor traces of fuel were found in the lines and distributor manifold.

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

Fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection and his failure to ensure that adequate fuel was onboard to complete the flight.

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