NTSB Identification: LAX98FA267.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 16, 1998 in LOS ANGELES, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 177, registration: N177GS
Injuries: 2 Serious,2 Minor.

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 aircraft's engine ceased delivering power during the nighttime instrument landing approach. When they broke out of the clouds, it was apparent to the pilot that the aircraft would not be able to glide to the airport. He maneuvered the aircraft toward a school athletic field and made an emergency landing. The aircraft impacted a utility power pole and severed electrical power wires prior landing inverted on the athletic field. The pilot reported that prior to takeoff he checked the fuel quantity using a dipstick tool and there was 3 hours fuel aboard. He could not recall what the fuel gauges read at the time the engine quit. The flight required 1 hour 15 minutes en route. Several early responders to the accident site noted that there was no liquid fuel or fuel smells present, and that the pilot was not concerned about potential for a postaccident fire or explosion. Two of the passengers told two different witnesses that the aircraft had run out of fuel. No aircraft mechanical discrepancies were found during the investigation.

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

The failure of the pilot to accurately determine that an adequate quantity of fuel was aboard the aircraft for the intended flight, and the failure to monitor fuel quantity remaining while en route to ensure an adequate quantity of reserve fuel prior to landing.

Full narrative available

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