NTSB Identification: LAX99LA182.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 11, 1999 in STOVEPIPE WELLS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2000
Aircraft: Cessna T188C, registration: N9603J
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 pilot/mechanic who overhauled the accident airplane engine was to remove it from the airplane, located on a highway in a remote desert area, to correct some discrepancies, which had caused the owner's pilot to make a precautionary landing. The mechanic chose to fly the airplane to another state where his shop is located. En route to a fuel source he landed on a road for directions. Subsequently, he arrived at the fuel source and had less than a gallon remaining. His next planned fuel stop was about 75 miles away. In the pilot's written statement he said he remembered noticing the fuel gauges reading low as he was flying low over sand dunes. The engine lost power, he turned on the boost pump, and the engine regained power momentarily. The aircraft then collided with sand dunes in the Death Valley National Park. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical problems with the airplane and he had run it out of fuel. The accident site is about 195 miles from the departure point on a heading about 90 degrees from the pilot's intended course line.

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

fuel exhaustion resulting from the pilot becoming lost and disoriented on a cross-country flight.

Full narrative available

Index for May1999 | Index of months