NTSB Identification: MIA04FA044.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Saturday, January 17, 2004 in Venice, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 150M, registration: N63159
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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.

After takeoff, the flight proceeded to another airport where one touch-and-go landing was performed. The flight then proceeded to the Venice Municipal Airport, where, according to a witness reported she heard hearing an airplane for a total time of between 30 seconds and 1 minute. During the entire time she heard the airplane, the engine sputtered. She observed an airplane flying what was reported to be southbound, then observed the airplane bank to the right, and descend nose low before the sound of the crash. The also reported it was a dark night. The post-accident examination of the airplane revealed the fuel vent line was internally obstructed with an insect nest. Both fuel tank caps were of the vented type, and the air passages were clear; the crossover vent line from the right to left tank was crushed but free of obstructions. The Pilot's Operating Handbook indicates that during the preflight inspection, the fuel tank vent opening is to be checked for stoppage; though the handbook does not indicate to check that the vent line assembly into the fuel tank is free of obstructions. The investigation revealed the left-seat occupant had noted on the day of the accident that the vent line was blocked and informed the owner of the airplane. The owner checked but it did not appear to him that the line was blocked. No subsequent maintenance was performed on the line. The airplane was then operated about 1 hour 13 minutes on two separate flights. The owner was aboard the airplane during one of the flights, which lasted about 20 minutes. The owner did not report any discrepancies during his 20-minute flight. The airplane "Service Manual" indicates that, "Any fuel vent found plugged or restricted must be corrected prior to returning aircraft to service.

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

The spatial disorientation of the flightcrew during the dark night and their failure to maintain control of the airplane resulting in the uncontrolled descent and in-flight collision with trees and terrain.

Full narrative available

Index for Jan2004 | Index of months