On April 20, 2000, about 2000 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 152, N152SC, operated by Flying Viking, Inc., Hayward, California, experienced a total loss of engine power while cruising over Fresno, California. The student pilot made a forced landing in a parking lot and collided with a trailer. The airplane was substantially damaged, and the pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the solo instructional flight, which was performed under 14 CFR 91, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated about 1645 from Hayward, California.

The pilot indicated to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that he departed from Hayward during the daylight and only possessed a "San Francisco VFR Terminal Area Chart." The pilot was authorized to only fly within a 25-mile radius of Hayward. Minutes after taking off, the pilot became disoriented and confused regarding his location and direction of flight. The pilot further indicated that he was evidently lost, and he flew about 117 miles east until his fuel was totally exhausted. During the flight he was unable to raise anyone on the aircraft's radio.

The pilot's certified flight instructor reported to the Safety Board investigator that he had authorized his student to perform a local area flight around Hayward. The student's total flying experience was about 28 hours, of which 4 hours were as pilot-in-command. The student was supposed to land after practicing for about 1 hour. Upon departure for the accident flight, the airplane had about 18 gallons of fuel in its tanks. The instructor said the student confused east for west and followed a roadway until arriving over the city of Fresno with empty fuel tanks.

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