NTSB Identification: LAX01LA289.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, September 04, 2001 in Sonoma, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 150J, registration: N51256
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
During an approach for landing the engine lost power and the pilot made a forced landing in a vineyard where the airplane came to rest on it's nose. Fuel was observed in the fuel tanks. Fuel recovered from the fuel tanks was 4.5 gallons. According to the manufacturer, 3.5 gallons of fuel is unusable. During the engine inspection it was noted that the ignition switch was defective and did not allow for proper contact with the system. Pressure had to be applied to the instrument panel in order to allow a positive ground to the system for start up. The pilot indicated that the ignition switch had been defective prior to the accident flight and had been that way for some time. A successful engine ground run was conducted with no further mechanical discrepancies noted. Review of the Carburetor Icing Probability Chart revealed that weather conditions were conducive to serious icing at climb or cruise power.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's inadequate preflight fuel consumption calculations and failure to ensure that adequate fuel was onboard the airplane prior to departure. A factor in the accident was the pilot's continued use of the airplane with known mechanical deficiencies. Full narrative available
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