NTSB Identification: FTW00LA094.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 09, 2000 in LAKE CHARLES, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N68333
Injuries: 2 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 planned a 265 nautical mile flight that he thought would take about 3.1 hours. The airplane departed with both fuel tanks full, flew at 2,500 feet, and at a power setting of 2,300 rpm. The pilot did not lean the mixture during the flight. The airplane was descending through 1,000 feet, near the destination airport, when the engine rpm began increasing and decreasing. Subsequently, the engine lost total power and the pilot executed a forced landing to a field. During post-accident examination of the airplane, an FAA inspector drained 1.5 gallons of fuel from the left fuel tank and .05 gallons from the right fuel tank. Total fuel capacity was 26 gallons, of which 24.5 gallons were useable. Based on the performance charts in the POH for the C-152, and the altitude and power setting the pilot stated were used, the airplane would have had an endurance of 3.7 hours with a 45 minute reserve at 45% power. This endurance assumes leaning the mixture in cruise flight. According to the recording hour meter in the airplane, the duration of the flight was 3.7 hours. A friend of the pilot, who flew another C-152 on the same route, at the same altitude and power setting, landed his airplane at the destination successfully. A fuel receipt indicated that his airplane was fueled with 24.1 gallons of fuel. He reported that he leaned the mixture during cruise flight.

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

The failure of the pilot to refuel the airplane which resulted in fuel exhaustion. Factors were the pilot's poor preflight planning, failure to lean the mixture in accordance with the POH, and lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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