NTSB Identification: FTW97LA303.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 10, 1997 in LOS ALAMOS, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 150H, registration: N22286
Injuries: 1 Serious,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.
While on final approach to runway 27 at the Los Alamos Airport, about 3 hours 45 minutes after takeoff from Chandler, Arizona, the aircraft's engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion. The pilot and passenger reported the winds were from the south, and while on final approach they encountered a down draft and the pilot applied full power. 'The engine responded but they hit terrain wings level short of the runway.' The airplane came to rest on its left side about 300 yards east of the approach end of runway 27. The terrain was rocky and sloping up about 20 to 25 degrees to the west. Examination of the aircraft revealed that there was no breach in the fuel system. The carburetor fuel bowl contained approximately 2 ounces of fuel, and only a couple drops of fuel drained out of the fuel line. Approximately 2.9 gallons of fuel were drained from both fuel tanks. The aircraft had two standard wing fuel tanks with a total capacity of 26 gallons of fuel. Total usable fuel for all flight conditions was 22.5 gallons. Total unusable fuel was 3.5 gallons. Winds at Santa Fe, New Mexico, 17 nautical miles southeast of the accident site, were from 180 degrees at 15 knots.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's failure to refuel. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing. Full narrative available
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