NTSB Identification: LAX99LA255.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 19, 1999 in HUNTINGTON BCH, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/14/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 150J, registration: N60169
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 pilot stated he used a dipstick during preflight, which was graduated in four equal increments, but not calibrated for this airplane. Based upon the mark on the dipstick, he determined the tanks were slightly over 1/3 of capacity and estimated he had 13 to 14 gallons of fuel aboard. He estimated 9 gallons would be needed for the flight. During a subsequent interview, the pilot told a FAA inspector the airplane had a 38-gallon fuel capacity. The Type Certificate Data Sheet specifies 26 gallons total fuel capacity with 22.5 gallons useable. Standard tanks were found on the airplane during postaccident inspection. After departure the pilot flew a total of 1.5 hours, completing one takeoff and landing and three practice instrument approaches. On radar vectors for the ILS final approach course at Long Beach, the engine sputtered, then quit. The pilot attempted a forced landing on a city street and collided with multiple obstacles. Recovery personnel reported draining 2 pints of fuel from the left fuel tank and no fuel from the right tank. Following recovery, the engine was started in the airframe and successfully test run.

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

Fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's failure to ensure that adequate fuel was on board to complete the flight. The pilot's basic lack of knowledge of the airplane's fuel capacity was a factor.

Full narrative available

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