NTSB Identification: IAD96LA150.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 21, 1996 in TEMPLETON, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 150G, registration: N2607J
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 pilot planned a 5 leg cross-country flight. A flight instructor (CFI) reviewed and approved the flight plan with an option of various locations to refuel. The student departed later than anticipated. He stated that the first 4 legs were uneventful, but he realized that darkness would affect his final leg. The student checked his flight planning and believed he had enough fuel to reach his destination without stopping, and that he would arrive before darkness. About half way on his final leg with the sun setting, the student pilot calculated 17 minutes to his destination and 75 minutes of fuel remaining. After arrival at his destination, the student was unable to find the airport. He requested assistance from a Flight Service Station, was located, then handed off to Boston Center. During a vector to the nearest airport, the engine lost power. The student pilot maintained best glide airspeed until tree top level, then stalled (landed) the airplane into the trees. Examination of the airplane revealed no usable fuel in the tanks. The airplane had flown 3.7 hours since its last refueling. The student pilot had not received any night flight instruction.

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

the student pilot's improper in-flight decision to continued the cross-country flight into night conditions, and his inability to find the destination (or an alternate airport) in a timely manner, which resulted in fuel exhaustion, forced landing, and in-flight collision with trees. Factors related to the accident were: darkness, and the student pilot's lack of night experience.

Full narrative available

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