On June 10, 1995, at 1825 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 177B, N16081, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing near Lebec, California. The aircraft was operated by Inclined To Fly and was rented by the pilot. The flight departed on the return leg of a cross-country to Catalina Island at 1715. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a VFR flight plan was filed for the operation. The certificated private pilot and his passenger sustained minor injuries. The flight originated from Bakersfield Meadows Field Airport, Bakersfield, California, at 1329 on the day of the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported that while en route back to Bakersfield at an altitude of 8,500 feet msl he experienced a total power loss. He initiated a glide toward Quail Lake airport, but landed with no flaps in a rough field, about 1 mile short of the runway. The pilot stated that on the day of the accident he performed a preflight inspection using a preflight check list. He said he made a visual inspection of the fuel quantity and observed the fuel level to be level with "some dotted markings on each wing." He stated that he was under the impression that the "dots represented a full fuel mark." According to the manufacturer's operators manual, the fuel capacity to the "line of holes" inside the filler neck is 22 gallons.
The operator, who recovered the aircraft at the scene, reported that there was no fuel in either main tank. He stated that the last fuel purchased was 23 gallons on June 5, 1995, from Mercury Aviation at Meadows Field. He also reported that the aircraft had been flown 1.6 hours on June 8, 1995, before being dispatched to the pilot on the day of the accident. He estimated that the pilot departed Bakersfield with 33 gallons of fuel onboard, and had flown 2.9 hours before the accident according to the Hobbs meter. He stated that the accident aircraft burned between 10 and 12 gph.
The aircraft was equipped with standard range tanks, which have a total fuel capacity of 50 gallons, with 49 gallons usable. No fuel was available at Avalon airport on Catalina Island.