NTSB Identification: ANC89FA130.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39169.
Accident occurred Saturday, July 29, 1989 in WASILLA, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/09/1990
Aircraft: CESSNA 180A, registration: N9681B
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PLT FLEW THE FLOAT PLANE TO COTTONWOOD LAKE FOR MAINTENANCE. A QUICK DRAIN WAS INSTALLED IN ONE WING OF THE ACFT & THE OTHER WING TANK WAS DRAINED. THE PLT WAS AWARE OF THE LOW FUEL CONDITION, BUT DID NOT VISUALLY INSPECT THE TANKS BEFORE THE FLT. THE MECHANIC, WHO WORKED ON THE ACFT, TOLD THE PLT OF THE LOW FUEL CONDITION, BUT THE PLT BELIEVED THERE WAS SUFFICIENT FUEL TO FLY TO WASILLA LAKE, WHICH WAS JUST 3 MI WEST OF COTTONWOOD LAKE. SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF, THE ENG LOST POWER. THE PLT TRIED TO TURN BACK TO COTTONWOOD LAKE TO LAND, BUT DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH ALT. HE SAID THE ACFT STALLED & CRASHED INTO TREES AS HE WAS TURNING AWAY FROM A HOUSE. LESS THAN ONE GAL OF FUEL WAS FOUND IN ONE TANK & THE OTHER TANK HAD ABOUT 1 QUART OF FUEL REMAINING. ACCORDING TO THE OWNER'S MANUAL, 1.5 GAL OF FUEL WAS UNUSABLE IN MANEUVERING FLT & ONE GAL WAS UNUSABLE IN LEVEL FLT.

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

INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT BY THE PILOT WHICH RESULTED IN FUEL STARVATION DUE TO AN INADEQUATE SUPPLY OF FUEL AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE AIRSPEED WHILE MANEUVERING BACK TOWARD THE LAKE WHICH RESULTED IN AN INADVERTENT STALL. THE HOUSE & TREES WERE CONSIDERED TO BE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS.

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