NTSB Identification: ERA10LA127
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 01, 2010 in St. Augustine, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/07/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 150G, registration: N3995J
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 pilot refueled the airplane and departed. While cruising at altitudes varying between 6,500 feet and 2,500 feet above ground level, he noticed that the right fuel gauge was fluctuating around the empty indication and the left fuel gauge was giving intermittent indications. The pilot elected to land at an airport that was en route to his destination. As the airplane approached the airport, the engine experienced a total loss of power due to fuel exhaustion. The pilot made a forced landing to a highway about 600 yards short of the airport and, after maneuvering to avoid traffic, the airplane struck road signs and came to rest in a ditch. The pilot stated that he always based fuel consumption on time, altitude and temperature, and monitored it with a stopwatch. Subsequent fuel consumption calculations indicated that at the rpm setting provided by the pilot, the airplane should have had well in excess of 30 minutes of fuel onboard when the engine ceased operating, about 2.5 hours after takeoff. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed fuel stains under the right under-wing area, flap, and fuselage. The stained was a result of fuel leakage due to a failure of the right wing fuel tank sending unit gasket.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion caused by the failure of the right wing fuel tank sending unit gasket, which resulted in a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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