NTSB Identification: CHI89DET02.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39632.
Accident occurred Thursday, December 22, 1988 in BENTON HARBOR, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/16/1990
Aircraft: CESSNA 150H, registration: N50331
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

A TOTAL LOSSS OF ENGINE POWER WAS EXPERIENCED DURING CRUISE FLT AT 2,500 FT. THE PLT ATTEMPTED AND EMERGENCY LANDING IN OPEN FIELD BUT STRUCK SEVERAL SMALL TREES SHORT OF POINT OF INTENDED LANDING. TREE IMPACT SHEARED THE NOSE GEAR AND THE ACFT IMPACTED LEFT WING DOWN IN AN OPEN FIELD. POST ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION REVEALED NO FUEL IN RIGHT TANK, AND 7/8 INCH OF FUEL IN LEFT TANK. A FUEL SAMPLE FROM THE LEFT TANK SUMP CONTAINED WATER AND DIRT. A CARBURETOR SAMPLE CONTAINED WATER AND DIRT. THE PLT STATED THAT HE KNEW HE WAS GETTING LOW ON FUEL AND HAD PLANNED TO REFUEL AT ROSS FIELD, WHICH WAS 3 MILES FROM THE ACCIDENT SITE.

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

A MISJUDGED APPROACH DURING THE EXECUTION OF AN EMERGENCY LANDING RESULTING IN AN ENCOUNTER WITH UNSUITABLE TERRAIN. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS ARE INACCURATE FUEL CONSUMPTION CALCULATIONS AND FUEL STARVATION DUE TO CONTAMINATION.

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