FTW99LA233
FTW99LA233

On August 21, 1999, at 2030 central daylight time, a Cessna 150F airplane, N6243R, struck a power line during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Zachary, Louisiana. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot, sole occupant, received minor injures, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed Rayville, Louisiana, at 1900.

The pilot reported that he rented the airplane on August 20, 1999, for a round trip flight from the Louisiana Regional Airport (L38), Gonzales, Louisiana, to Monroe, Louisiana. The airplane departed Gonzales with full fuel tanks. After 2 hours en route to Monroe, the pilot experienced radio problems and elected to land at Rayville (M79), Louisiana, for the night. No services were obtained at Rayville. The next morning the pilot visually inspected the fuel tanks and noted that they were 1/2 full for the return flight to Gonzales.

On the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, NTSB Form 6120.1/2, the pilot stated that he relied on dead reckoning navigation for the flight from Rayville to Gonzales. While diverting completely around the Baton Rouge airspace, he became disoriented which "added more flight time causing more fuel consumption than planned." As he continued to search for the Gonzales Airport, the engine lost power. The pilot attempted to land the airplane on Highway 61. During the approach, the airplane struck a power line, and then came to rest on its nose at a highway intersection.

The FAA inspector and the operator responded to the site and examined the aircraft. Substantial damage was sustained to the firewall and both wings. During the aircraft recovery, less than 8 ounces of fuel was found in each fuel tank. According to the inspector, the total fuel capacity for the aircraft was 22 gallons with a fuel burn of 6 gph. The total flight time, since refueling of the aircraft, was 3.5 hours. No discrepancies with the radios or navigation equipment were reported by the inspector or the operator.

The FAA inspector reported that the private pilot had the limitation "not valid for night flying or by color signal control" on his medical certificate. The U.S. Naval Observatory published the official sunset at 1940.

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