On August 27, 1997, at 1945 central daylight time (cdt), a Cessna 150M, N704TL, operated by a commercial pilot, sustained substantial damage when on takeoff the airplane's engine lost power. During the subsequent forced landing attempt, the airplane impacted the terrain. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The instructional flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. There was no flight plan on file. Neither the instructor pilot or the dual student reported any injuries. The flight originated at Benton, Kansas, at 1815 cdt. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In his written statement, the instructor said that he had planned for an hour and 30 minute flight with a 30 minute fuel reserve. The instructor and student took off, went out east of the airport to do practice training maneuvers, and then returned to the airport to do some traffic pattern work. "We were approaching our 30 minute reserve and I determined the next landing would be a full stop. The student misunderstood my instructions and was attempting a touch-and-go. The student came in high and fast, touching down momentarily around mid-field. Rather than attempt a full stop, I allowed the student to go around." The instructor said that he believed he had enough reserve fuel to do one more pattern. "On climbout the engine quit. I assumed control of the aircraft. The pilot instructor turned the airplane back toward the runway and touched down in a field "a few hundred feet west of the departure end of the active runway."
A witness, who saw the airplane take off from the airport, said that he heard "the engine of the airplane sputtering. At that time, the airplane was about 15 feet above the ground. The engine came alive for another 10 to 20 seconds before it quit totally. After that, the pilot tried to turn back to the airfield. I saw the airplane gliding down till it was finally hidden by a row of trees."
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector who examined the wreckage found the airplane in a field next to the Benton, Kansas airport, approximately one-quarter mile from the end of the runway. The outboard one-third of airplane's left wing was bent upward approximately 45 degrees. The right wing was bent back. The outer 2 feet of the right wing was crushed inward and bent up. The left horizontal stabilizer showed heavy skin wrinkles. The nose wheel was broken off. The propeller showed no rotational scratching or torsional bending. Flight control continuity was confirmed. No anomalies were found in the engine, engine controls, or other airplane systems. Approximately 2 gallons of fuel were drained from the airplane's fuel tanks.
The Cessna 150M Pilot's Operating Handbook states that 3.5 gallons of the 26 gallon total fuel capacity is unusable in airplanes configured with the two standard 13 gallon fuel tanks.