NTSB Identification: IAD05LA045.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 16, 2005 in Port Royal, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N64986
Injuries: 2 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 pilot departed into instrument meteorological conditions and initially encountered icing at 5,000 feet. He then descended the airplane to 3,000 feet, where about 30 minutes later the engine experienced roughness. After an application of carburetor heat, the engine smoothed and the pilot continued the flight. About 1 hour later, and at an altitude of 4,000 feet, the pilot noted the presence of mist, and that the temperature was slightly above freezing, and activated the pitot heat. Shortly thereafter the engine suddenly "quit," and the pilot performed a forced landing to a highway. During the landing rollout, both wings struck signs next to the highway and the airplane then veered off the highway and into a median. Following the accident, FAA inspectors asked the pilot to start the engine, and it ran for 30 seconds at idle rpm, until the pilot shut it down. During the recovery process, about 2 gallons of fuel were drained from the fuel tanks, and no indications could be found that either fuel tank had been compromised during the accident. The pilot stated that prior to the accident flight, he determined the amount of fuel onboard the airplane by estimating the fuel consumed on the previous flight.

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

A loss of engine power due to the pilot's inadequate preflight planning which resulted in fuel exhaustion.

Full narrative available

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