SEA95LA081
SEA95LA081

On April 14, 1995, approximately 1850 mountain daylight time, N180WH, a Cessna 180D, sustained substantial damage when it impacted a power pole during a forced landing near Nyssa, Oregon, after fuel exhaustion. The private pilot and his wife, the two occupants, were uninjured. A visual flight rules flight plan had been filed for the pleasure flight, which had departed Sonoma County airport, Santa Rosa, California, approximately 1350 Pacific daylight time. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. There was no fire and the ELT activated, but did not aid in locating the accident site.

The pilot stated that he had refueled prior to departure, for a total capacity of 60 gallons. He stated that he started descent for Ontario, Oregon about 20 miles out, at 8500 feet. At about 5500 feet, the engine started to quit, and he attempted to keep it running by switching fuel tanks, but was unsuccessful. He performed a forced landing on highway 2201, near Nyssa, Oregon. The aircraft impacted a pole with the right wing, causing substantial damage. An FAA inspector who went to the accident site stated that only residual fuel remained in the fuel tanks.

The pilot stated that adequate fuel should have remained in the aircraft for the flight, according to his experience operating the aircraft. The owner's manual states that total fuel capacity is 65 gallons, with 55 gallons usable in all flight conditions, and 62 gallons usable for level flight only.

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