NTSB Identification: MIA98FA110.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 28, 1998 in WEST PALM BEACH, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 150H, registration: N22358
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The first two legs were uneventful; the fuel tanks were filled after the first flight. During the final leg, he became 'off' course and was taking longer than anticipated due to strong headwinds; no weather briefing was obtained. The pilot did not ask for assistance and corrected for being 'off' course, and while flying near the destination airport, the engine quit. The left and right fuel gauges at that time indicated less then 1/4 and 1/4 respectively. The engine was restarted momentarily but quit again. While flying over a congested highway, he attempted a forced landing in a parking lot and collided with a power line and trees. The entire fuel system was found to contain about 2.0 gallons of fuel; 3.5 gallons of fuel is the unusable amount. The right fuel tank transmitter was sticking in a position that corresponded with 1/4 tank capacity. The airplane was inspected 18.5 hours and 2 months and 13 days earlier using the manufacturers checklist. The checklist requires inspection of the transmitters and fuel gauges for proper operation and correct travel. The airplane had been operated for about 4.5 hours since the fuel tanks were filled after the first leg.

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

The poor in-flight planning by the pilot-in-command for his failure to ask for assistance after becoming lost momentarily, and his failure to monitor the total time airborne after the fuel tanks were filled. Contributing to the accident was the binding of the right fuel tank quantity transmitter resulting in the incorrect reading of the gauge, and inadequate aircraft manuals by the airplane manufacturer for failure to require testing of the fuel quantity indicating system for accuracy. Also contributing was the failure of the pilot to obtain a preflight weather briefing, and unsuitable terrain encountered by the pilot during the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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