On October 14, 1993, at 1858 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 150L, N150GS, crashed short of runway 16R at Van Nuys Airport (VNY), Van Nuys, California, while executing an emergency landing. The emergency landing was precipitated by a loss of engine power. The pilot was completing a visual flight rules personal flight. The airplane, registered to and operated by Sussex Aviation, VNY, sustained substantial damage; a ground vehicle and a chain link fence were also damaged. Neither the certificated private pilot, the sole occupant in the airplane, nor the sole occupant in the ground vehicle was injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at Kingman Airport, Kingman, Arizona, at 1550 hours. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
Safety Board investigators reviewed the recorded communications tape at Van Nuys Airport Traffic Control Tower. The taped conversation between the pilot of the accident airplane and the local controller revealed the pilot called at 1751 hours. The local controller cleared the flight to enter a left downwind leg for runway 34L and assigned it a discrete transponder code.
At 1754 hours, the local controller assigned the pilot a 2,800-foot mean sea level altitude and instructed the pilot to enter a direct downwind. The pilot responded that the airplane was experiencing engine problems and was going to execute a straight-in approach to runway 16R. The local controller cleared the flight to land on runway 16R. The pilot was unable to land on the runway.
The pilot reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, NTSB Form 6120.1/2, the engine began experiencing problems, losing RPM's, and running rough while over the San Fernando Reservoir. The pilot advised the local controller and began a straight-in approach to runway 16R. During the emergency landing, the engine experienced a total loss of power and the pilot landed the airplane in an open field about 1/4 mile north of the airport.
Mr. Clinton P. Ah You, Principal Maintenance Inspector, Federal Aviation Administration, Van Nuys Flight Standards District Office, conducted the on-scene investigation. Inspector Ah You reported that the fuel tanks were not damaged nor were the fuel lines compromised during the accident. He also stated that the fuel tanks contained very little fuel.
Mr. B. Patel, Sussex Aviation, reported that both fuel tanks were drained and contained 2.1 gallons of fuel. The Cessna 150L Pilot's Operating Handbook reveals that the airplane fuel tanks hold 26 gallons of fuel of which 22.5 gallons are usable.