NTSB Identification: FTW99LA273.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 30, 1999 in SLATON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N5399B
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 airplane's nose landing gear struck a dike and the airplane flipped to the inverted position during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. The solo student pilot/owner did not refuel the airplane before departing on the second leg of the round trip cross country flight. No physical evidence of fuel or compromise of the integrity of the fuel system was observed at the accident site. Total fuel capacity for the airplane is 39 gallons (37.5 usable fuel) and about 2 gallons of fuel was drained from the tanks. The student pilot based his calculated fuel consumption on cruise performance at 4.7 gallons per hour for a pressure altitude of 8,000 feet; however, the Cessna 152 performance chart indicates a fuel burn of 4.9 gallons per hour. Further, the pilot did not calculate the climb performance to cruise altitude. When asked how the accident could have been prevented, the pilot stated, 'I could have topped off the tanks before the return trip.'

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

The pilot's failure to refuel the airplane resulting in fuel exhaustion. Factors were the pilot's inadequate preflight planning and the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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