NTSB Identification: FTW97LA243.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 29, 1997 in GORMAN, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N6099L
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 elected to make a precautionary landing due to low fuel concerns (not knowing how much fuel remained). She reported the gauges indicated EMPTY. The engine continued to run. The airplane had flown 69 minutes since refueling. En route, the COM/NAV equipment did not operate for the pilot. The amps looked 'OK.' The pilot saw a private airport with power lines and trees; however, she 'did not feel comfortable landing there, due to the powerlines and trees.' She decided to land the airplane in a field. During the landing roll, the airplane nosed over coming to rest inverted in soft sand. There were no known maintenance discrepancies prior to the flight. The student pilot had 154.8 hrs in the airplane(34.2 hrs solo, 74.6 hrs. local dual, 12.5 hrs solo x-country, and 33.5 hrs dual x-country with dual instruction to all points of this x-country route). The flight instructor reported working with the student 'on decision making for a long time.' The electrically operated flaps were found in the fully extended position and the airplane contained 12 gallons of fuel. Following a recharge of the battery, the fuel tanks were filled, the fuel gauges read 'FULL,' and the COM/NAV equipment operated. A mechanic performed tests of the fuel indication and transmitting system and reported that the test indicated 'no malfunctions of either system.'

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

the student pilot's improper inflight planning/decision, and selection of unsuitable terrain for a precautionary landing. Factors relating to the accident were: a fluctuation in the electrical system, due to an undetermined reason, the student pilot's lack of confidence in her personal ability, and soft terrain in the precautionary landing area.

Full narrative available

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