NTSB Identification: FTW04LA116.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 13, 2004 in Magnolia, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Cessna 150, registration: N5628E
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.

The 288-hour pilot was on a cross country flight and landed at an airport to purchase fuel. Upon landing he noticed "that everything was shut down for the day." The pilot talked with a man in the terminal building, who informed him that he would have to wait about an hour for fuel service and he would have to pay a $30.00 "call-out" fee. He elected to fly to another airport about 20 miles away to purchase fuel. Before departing, the pilot performed a preflight inspection for the airplane, which included a visual inspection of both fuel tanks. He grabbed a broom from the back of a fuel truck and "stuck it in the fuel tank to check the level better." The left tank was just under 1/2-full, and the right tank was about 1/4-full. Approximately 10 miles from the airport the engine stopped producing power and the pilot landed in a field. Examination of the airplane revealed both fuel tanks were intact and empty. There was no evidence of a fuel spill or leak, and no mechanical deficiencies were noted. The pilot reported that he had made fuel stops along his route of flight. Examination of fueling records revealed the pilot had purchased 23.16 gallons at one stop a few days before the accident and 21.4 gallons on the day of the accident. The airplane was equipped with two standard fuel tanks, one in each wing. The total fuel capacity was 26 gallons (13 gallons each tank), and the total usable fuel capacity was 22.5 gallons (11.25 gallons each tank). In addition, the pilot told a law enforcement official at the accident site that he had run out of fuel.

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

The pilot's improper pre-flight planning, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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