NTSB Identification: LAX97LA278.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 09, 1997 in PALOS VERDES, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/10/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 150G, registration: N3084S
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 aircraft had been modified with installation of: 1) a Lycoming O-360 engine; 2) an 18-gallon auxiliary fuel tank in the baggage compartment; and 3) a Cessna 172 type main fuel selector capable of selecting right, left, both, and off positions. The auxiliary tank was plumbed to pump fuel through an electric pump and an on-off fuel valve into the right wing tank. The fuel quantity sending unit was wired through a toggle switch to the right wing tank fuel gage; the switch could select either the right wing or auxiliary tank for gage display. The fuel system operating procedures specify that the pilot is to use fuel from the right wing tank first for 1 hour, then transfer fuel from the auxiliary tank. The pilot reported that after picking up the banner he climbed on a westerly heading on both tanks. Approximately 15 minutes later, the pilot switched to the right tank. He reported that 1 1/2 hour later he switched to the auxiliary tank. The right tank fuel gage read 1/4 full. At this point the engine stopped, and he switched back to both tanks in an attempt to restart the engine. The pilot reported that the attempted engine restart was unsuccessful and he had to ditch the aircraft in the ocean. After the aircraft was recovered, 2 gallons of fuel were drained from right tank, and 18-20 gallons of fuel were drained from the left tank. In a verbal statement to FAA inspectors, the pilot reported that he forgot to switch the fuel selector.

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

Loss of engine power due to fuel starvation and the pilot's mismanagement of the aircraft's fuel supply.

Full narrative available

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