LAX00LA081
LAX00LA081

On January 29, 2000, at 1257 hours Pacific standard time, a Cessna 150F, N8281F, lost engine power during cruise and made an emergency landing in a vineyard at Windsor, California. The airplane, operated by the owner under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, sustained substantial damage. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions existed for the personal flight and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Willow-Glenn county airport, Willows, California, at an undetermined time, and was scheduled to terminate at the Sonoma County Airport, Santa Rosa, California.

According to the responding deputy from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department, the pilot had informed him that he had flown from Santa Rosa to Willows the day before the accident. He had been returning to Santa Rosa on the morning of the accident. He stated that he had run out of fuel. The sheriff's deputy visually verified that no fuel was found in the fuel tanks.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot did not indicate that he had refueled the airplane. He visually checked the fuel tanks, but did not verify how much fuel was on board. He stated that "there seemed to be fuel, but the tanks were not full." The FAA inspector requested that the pilot perform a weight and balance for the flight and the pilot was unable to make the computations. The pilot was also unable to tell the FAA what the gross weight of the airplane was at the time of departure, and that he believed it would be all right. The FAA stated that a weight and balance was computed and the airplane was found to be over gross for the departure flight, which "exhausted all [of] the fuel."

Manny's Sonoma Aviation is the company that fuels airplanes at the Sonoma County airport. Their records indicated that from January 27 to February 10, 2000, the accident airplane had not purchased fuel from them. Willow-Glenn county airport is approximately 76 sm from the destination airport. There was no record of the accident airplane being refueled there the day prior, or the day of, the accident.

During the recovery, personnel retrieved approximately 1 gallon of fuel from the airplane.

An engine run and inspection was conducted at Plain Parts in Sacramento, California, on February 10, 2000. Prior to the engine run, the carburetor bowl was drained via the carburetor plug. The liquid drained from the carburetor bowl was blue in color and smelled like 100LL aviation fuel. The spark plugs were inspected, and according to the Champion Spark Plugs Check-A-Plug chart AV-27, exhibited deposits consistent with lead fouled operation.

The engine run was conducted at 1,800 rpm with no discrepancies noted. A magneto check was conducted and found to be within manufacturer's limitations. A carburetor heat operational check could not be conducted because the actuating cable was broken internally. No further discrepancies were noted.

According to the equipment list for the airplane, a child's seat was installed at the factory.

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