On October 18, 1998, at 1330 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 152, N5550L, collided with a parked fuel truck while taxiing to parking following landing at the Palo Alto, California, airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the solo cross-country instructional flight. The aircraft was operated by the Palo Alto Flying Club under 14 CFR Part 91, and rented by the student pilot for the flight. The aircraft sustained substantial wing damage, and the unoccupied fuel truck had minor damage. The student pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured.

An officer of the flying club reported that this was the first solo cross-country for the primary student. She was following the yellow taxiway centerline between two rows of parked aircraft. A fuel truck was parked in front of an aircraft conducting a refueling operation and the student misjudged the wing clearance from the truck.

The pilot reported that while taxiing back for the completion of her first cross-country flight she was watching the yellow centerline when the wingtip of the aircraft hit a fuel truck that was parked in front of an airplane.

The accident was reported to the Safety Board on October 28, 1998, following damage assessment by Federal Aviation Administration inspectors.

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