NTSB Identification: IAD05FA121.
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Accident occurred Friday, August 12, 2005 in Wht Sulfur Sprg, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 150M, registration: N45679
Injuries: 1 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.

The student pilot departed his home airport on a personal flight with an unknown quantity of fuel. He landed and shut down the engine at another airport, did not purchase any fuel, then departed for the return flight. Hours later, witnesses observed the airplane circling about 8 miles from his home airport. The airplane then maneuvered for landing in a park. When asked about the sound of the airplane's engine, one witness stated, "The engine was running fine, it was running steady." He estimated that the power setting was about "mid-range." A second witness was one-quarter mile to the west of the crash site when he noticed the airplane circle overhead. The airplane then descended, and passed over his head "at treetop level" as it flew toward the park in a wings-level attitude. When asked about the sound of the engine, the witness stated, "He was coming in slowly, and the engine was running smoothly, but we knew he was coming in for an emergency landing." On short final approach, the airplane struck a wire, descended sharply, struck the ground, and nosed over. Examination of the wreckage revealed no mechanical anomalies. Fuel drained from the tanks totaled 4.7 gallons, 3.5 gallons of which were not usable. Examination of the pilot's records revealed that he had been a student pilot for 11 years, with several multi-year breaks in his training, and that he had accumulated 190 total hours of flight experience.

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

The pilot's inadequate visual lookout during a precautionary landing, which resulted in collision with a wire and terrain. Factors in the accident were the pilot's inadequate in-flight planning which resulted in his becoming lost/disoriented, and a low fuel state.

Full narrative available

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