CHI00LA159
CHI00LA159

On June 11, 2000, about 1035 central daylight time, a Cessna 150M, N66081, piloted by a private pilot, was destroyed when it nosed over on impact with a ditch during a forced landing following an in-flight loss of engine power near Bethalto, Illinois. The personal flight was on a visual flight rules flight plan and was operating under 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot was uninjured. The flight originated at 0705 from Greensburg, Decatur County Airport near Greensburg, Indiana, and was destined for St. Clair Regional Airport near St. Clair, Missouri.

In a written statement the pilot said, "I preflighted the airplane at 6:45 a.m. and checked fuel prior to take off from I34. The airplane was fueled the day prior and flown .5 hrs or less." The pilot further stated, "While enroute to (K39) St.Clair Regional I decided to stop at (VLA) Vandalia, IL for a weather update and restroom break. I had noticed that the weather to the southwest was developing thunder clouds, and I would want to fly north of them because the were moving northeast. Vandalia had 2 parachutists under canopy and two more jumping in less that 2 minutes. The traffic pattern was full as well so I decided to fly northeast to St. Louis Regional - get fuel and a weather briefing. After getting clearance to land and setting up for pattern entry and starting to level off from descent to traffic pattern altitude the engine quit running. I radioed the tower and squacked 7700 on the x-ponder. After all emergency procedures failed to start the engine I made an off field landing in a soy bean field. The aircraft struck a ditch and flipped over destroying aircraft."

The Saint Louis Regional Airport daily record of facitility operation log remarks was that the pilot of "...N66081, C150, notified twr out of gas making off airport emergency landing, sqk 7700, ... ."

The Decatur County Airport's manager stated, "[The pilot] put a total of 17.4 gal. 100LL in his tank's. ... He never re-fueled to my knowledge before he left sometime 6/11/2000."

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector performed an on-scene examination of the wreckage. The exam revealed no anomalies. The inspector stated that approximately one half gallon of fluid was found on the ground about each of the fuel tanks cap vent areas.

A manual covering the Cessna 150M model was reviewed. The performance-specification page stated, "RANGE: Cruise, 75% Power at 7000 Ft ... 500 mi ... 22.5 Gallons, No Reserve ... 4.1 hrs." See appended performance-specification page.

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