NTSB Identification: MIA97LA054.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 01, 1997 in DAYTONA BEACH, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 150K, registration: N5813G
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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

Before the first of several legs of flight, the pilot used a wooden stick to confirm the fuel quantity, since one of the fuel gauges was inoperative. He then departed, performed airwork, and continued to a landmark, where a flyby was performed. The pilot landed at an airport, remained a short time, then during the preflight, he noted that the fuel quantity indicated about 1/2. The flight departed, and the pilot flew to another airport, and performed a full stop landing with taxiback. He then departed on a return flight to the original departure airport, where he performed two touch-and-go landings. During the takeoff roll of the third touch-and-go, the pilot noted that the engine was not producing full power; however, with insufficient runway remaining to stop, he elected to continue. About 200 feet above ground level, the engine coughed, then the propeller stopped. Subsequently, the airplane collided with concrete blocks during a forced landing. The pilot stated to a police officer that he believed the engine quit because he ran out of fuel. Postcrash examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed 3.0 gallons of fuel remaining in the fuel tanks. According to the airplane type certificate data sheet, the unusable fuel quantity was 3.5 gallons. Following recovery of the airplane, the engine was started, and it operated to 750 rpm. Impact damage precluded operating the engine to a higher rpm.

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

the pilot's improper planning/decision, by failing to ensure there was sufficient fuel for continued flight, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and subsequent collision with objects (concrete blocks) during a forced landing. Factors relating to the accident were: a partially inoperative fuel gauge, which provided a false fuel indication, and the pilot's operation of the airplane with the known deficiency.

Full narrative available

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