NTSB Identification: LAX06CA245.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 26, 2006 in Napa, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 150J, registration: N60816
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane lost engine power and nosed over during a forced landing. The pilot performed a preflight inspection of the airplane and checked the fuel quantity in each wing tank using a fuel measuring stick. He reported that there was no fuel in the left fuel tank, and 5.5 gallons of usable fuel in the right fuel tank. The pilot stated that he had more than enough fuel for the expected 19-minute flight. He performed an engine run-up and executed a normal takeoff. After clearing the mountains west of the departure airport, he radioed the air traffic control tower at the destination airport and requested a special visual flight rules (SVFR) clearance for runway 18. The controller told the pilot to remain outside the class delta airspace and to expect a 10-minute delay for landing. The pilot remained outside the airspace by maneuvering in right circles over a landmark. The pilot said that at this point, the fuel in the right tank lost contact with the fuel pickup port and the engine lost power. The pilot could not make it to the airport from his location and chose to land in a field approximately 5 miles north of the airport. The pilot successfully landed in the field; however, when the nose wheel touched down it dug into the soil and the airplane nosed over. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the airplane on scene and reported that he found no fuel in the left fuel tank and no more than 6 gallons of fuel in the right fuel tank.

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

a loss of engine power due to fuel starvation. The fuel starvation was the result of the pilot's inadequate preflight preparation (failure to refuel the airplane before taking off) and his inadequate in-flight decision (to make right turns while holding) that directly led to an unporting of the right fuel tank.

Full narrative available

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