IAD98LA071
IAD98LA071

On June 21, 1998, about 1800 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 152, N95415, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a field near Edgemere, Maryland. The certificated private pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight destined for Lee Airport (ANP), Annapolis, Maryland. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot stated that he recently joined the Fort Meade Flying Club and was given a check out by a club instructor. Upon completion of his checkout, the pilot flew his first flight in the area from ANP to Doylestown Airport (DYL), Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Before beginning his flight to DYL, the pilot checked the fuel and saw that the tanks were within an inch of full. The pilot then flew to DYL and remained over night.

Before departing for ANP the next day, the pilot flew locally for approximately 30 minutes, and then performed a preflight inspection. He looked at the fuel gauges and visually checked the tanks. He stated the fuel gauges read 1/2 and 3/4 respectively. The pilot estimated that he had flown 2 hours since the tanks were full, and he had a 1 hour and 15 minute flight ahead of him. He estimated that he should arrive at ANP with approximately 45 minutes of fuel reserve. The pilot decided not to refuel the airplane prior to his departure to ANP.

The pilot stated he departed DYL at approximately 1600, and flew the reverse of the route he had used the day before. The pilot was not familiar with the local terrain features, and thinking he was near Baltimore Washington International, he radioed Baltimore Approach for a vector towards ANP.

The pilot reported that shortly after receiving the vector, "the engine quit and the fuel gauges read empty." Unable to see the airport that the approach controller was vectoring him towards, the pilot elected to land in a bean field. The pilot stated that the winds were negligible, and he decided to land perpendicular to the plowed rows. He also stated that after the second or third bounce the nose gear became stuck in the soil, and the airplane nosed over.

The pilot stated that during his flight to DYL, and on the return flight to ANP, he flew between 2,000 and 3,000 feet msl, and that he leaned the fuel mixture. His technique for leaning was to, "...pull the mixture until the engine ran rough, and then turn the mixture back in (rich), one complete revolution." The pilot reported that, "he was taught that the Cessna 152, had 4 hours of fuel onboard, and the club instructor wrote 4+30 hours on a flight plan for the amount of fuel onboard during his club checkout."

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector, there was no evidence of a mechanical problem with the airplane. Both fuel tanks were examined and found empty.

At the time of the accident, the Hobbs meter on the airplane indicated it had flown 3.6 hours since it had been refueled. According to the pilot's operating handbook (POH) for the airplane, the endurance for the airplane at 3,000 feet msl, and 65% power setting with full fuel was 3.6 hours.

The pilot had logged approximately 250 flight hours, of which 40 hours were in this make and model.

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