NTSB Identification: LAX85LA350.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 28930.
Accident occurred Friday, August 16, 1985 in SANTA PAULA, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 182A, registration: N5879B
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.

DURING A CROSS COUNTRY FLT THE ACFT EXPERIENCED FUEL EXHAUSTION AND COLLIDED WITH GROUND OBSTRUCTIONS DURING THE SUBSEQUENT FORCED LANDING IN A RIVER BED. THE PLT SAID 4 HRS AND 20 MNS OF ENGINE RUN TIME HAD ELAPSED SINCE THE LAST FUELING OF THE ACFT. AT THE LAST FUELING, THE PLT SAID HE ORDERED THE ACFT 'TOPPED,' HOWEVER, DID NOT VISUALLY CHECK THE FUEL LEVEL PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. AT THE TIME OF THE ENGINE POWER LOSS, THE PLT SAID BOTH FUEL GAGES INDICATED ONE-QUARTER OF A TANK EACH. SUBSEQUENT TESTING OF THE FUEL QUANTITY MEASURING SYSTEM REVEALED THAT THE LEFT SYSTEM WAS INCORRECTLY CALIBRATED AND THE GAGE INDICATED ONE NEEDLE WIDTH BELOW THE ONE-QUARTER INDICIES WHEN THE TRANSMITTER WAS IN THE EMPTY POSITION.

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

PREFLIGHT PLANNING/PREPARATION..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

OBJECT..TREE(S)


Contributing Factors

ENGINE INSTRUMENTS,FUEL QUANTITY GAGE..FALSE INDICATION


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..NONE SUITABLE


Contributing Factors

FUEL CONSUMPTION CALCULATIONS..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

JUDGMENT..POOR..PILOT IN COMMAND

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