CHI94LA200
CHI94LA200

On June 14, 1994, about 2136 central daylight time (cdt), a Cessna 152, N69227, registered to M and S Aircraft Corp. of Annandale, Minnesota, and operated by a private pilot, impacted trees following a loss of engine power while on final approach to Springfield Regional Airport (SGF) in Springfield, Missouri. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The pilot and one passenger reported no injuries. The personal 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions. A VFR flight plan was on file. The personal flight departed Chariton, Iowa at 1740.

The pilot reported they departed Maple Lake, Minnesota approximately 1100 with an intended destination of Little Rock, Arkansas. He stated they stopped for fuel at Forest City, Iowa, Chariton, Iowa, and planned to refuel at SGF before proceeding to their final destination. The pilot reported they encountered strong, gusty headwinds and turbulence during the first two legs of the trip. He stated during the third leg the headwinds had moderated, and flight conditions were "...noticeably better than earlier in the day."

The pilot reported as evening approached, a haze developed. He stated he saw a small city which he believed to be Springfield, Missouri. He contacted SGF Approach Control and they radar identified the airplane approximately 32 miles northeast of SGF. The pilot stated: "This was the first point at which I became concerned about fuel supply." He stated he considered two alternate (closer) airports, but was unable to locate them in the dusky/hazy conditions. He elected to continue to SGF.

The pilot reported they were about 2 miles from the airport when he checked the fuel gauges and saw "...the right tank showed empty, but the left tank still showed approximately 1/8 of a tank. Very shortly after that, the engine sputtered once and then quit completely. I...set up best glide speed...I could see there were trees ahead of me... ." The airplane struck the trees and fell to the ground, coming to rest on its wheels.

The pilot estimated approximately 60 seconds passed between the loss of engine power and ground impact. He stated there was no mechanical malfunction, and he felt the power loss was "...likely due to fuel exhaustion." Postaccident examination revealed no evidence of usable fuel in the airplane.

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