LAX99LA255
LAX99LA255

On July 19, 1999, about 1940 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 150J, N60169, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing on city streets in Huntington Beach, California. The forced landing was precipitated by a loss of engine power while on radar vectors for the ILS final approach course at the Long Beach, California, airport. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane departed Long Beach about 1800 for a series of practice approaches to nearby airports. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot stated that during his preflight inspection he used a dipstick, which was graduated in four equal increments. It was not calibrated for this airplane. Based upon the mark on the dipstick, he determined the tanks were slightly over 1/3 of capacity and estimated he had 13 to 14 gallons of fuel aboard. He estimated 9 gallons would be needed for the flight. In a postaccident interview, the pilot stated to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors that the airplane was a commuter version and contained 38 gallons of fuel. The Type Certificate Data Sheet for this airplane specifies 26 gallons total fuel capacity with 22.5 gallons useable. Examination of the airplane disclosed that it was not equipped with tanks of larger capacity.

After departure from Long Beach, the pilot flew to Corona, California, completed a practice landing, and departed. He then completed three VOR instrument approaches to Riverside, California. He was in contact with SOCAL TRACON during the return to Long Beach, maintaining a heading of 210 degrees at 1,500 feet mean sea level (msl) while on vectors to the final approach course for runway 30 at Long Beach. Approximately 1.5 hours into the flight, the engine began to sputter, then quit.

The pilot stated he set up for an approach to a schoolyard, but the power kicked in briefly and forced him out of position to make the landing. He elected to land on a city street. After clearing a rooftop, the airplane brushed a tree. As he maneuvered under wires across the street, the left wing contacted the lower branches of a tree. The airplane spun counterclockwise and touched down on the main landing gear. It then rolled backwards up a light pole and came to rest nose down. The left wing fractured and separated at the front spar. The fuselage fractured around 270 degrees of its circumference aft of the cabin.

The left wing and empennage were separated from the airplane during recovery operations. Recovery personnel reported draining 2 pints of fuel from the left fuel tank and no fuel from the right tank.

On July 20, 1999, the airplane was inspected at Aircraft Recovery Service in Compton, California, by the FAA airworthiness inspector assigned as the accident coordinator. One ounce of fuel was obtained from the gascolator and some residual fuel was observed in the carburetor. The right wing and propeller suffered minor damage and were not disturbed. The airplane was secured to a trailer. On the initial attempt to start the engine, the FAA inspector noted it sputtered momentarily then quit. Aviation fuel was added to the right wing fuel tank, and the inspector noted the engine started immediately and ran smoothly.

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