ATL00LA006
ATL00LA006

On October 29, 1999, at 1115 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 152, N757YQ, collided with two fences during a precautionary landing in a pasture four miles west of Gainesville, Florida. The airplane was operated by Comair Aviation Academy, Inc., and flown by the student pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a VFR flight plan was filed. The student pilot was not injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight departed Sanford, Florida, at 0745.

According to the student pilot, he was conducting his first solo cross-country flight, and was on the first segment of the flight enroute to Melbourne, Florida. While en route, he stated that he was able to visually identify checkpoints designated on his flight plan. While approaching Melbourne, he attempted to contact Melbourne Tower, but did not receive a response. At that point, he concluded that he "was not on course and decided to terminate" his flight plan.

He elected to attempt to return to Sanford. After turning around, he was unable to identify recognizable visual checkpoints or the city of Sanford. He radioed the St. Petersburg Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS), and advised them that he was "lost and disoriented," but the student pilot was unable to decipher their response. He attempted to locate an airport on which to land, but was unsuccessful. The pilot realized that the airplane was low on fuel and the "propeller started to lose normal revolution." He stated that he was "confused and lost," and decided to locate the nearest field on which to perform a precautionary landing.

He located a rectangular field and shortly before touching down, realized it was occupied by cows. He initiated a steep left turn and landed perpendicular to the field. The airplane touched down at a ground speed of approximately 70 to 75 knots and during rollout, collided with two barbwire fences. During the impact sequence, the airplane sustained damage to the windshield, propeller and spinner, firewall, and the leading edge of the left wing. After coming to rest, he secured and exited the airplane.

According to the aircraft performance data, the airplane consumes approximately 6 gallons of fuel per hour. The student pilot departed with approximately 26 gallons of fuel (24.5 gallons useable) and flew for approximately 3.5 hours. No mechanical problems with the airplane were reported by the pilot.

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