SEA01LA025
SEA01LA025

On December 3, 2000, at 1300 Pacific standard time, a Cessna A185F amphibian, N7609Q, registered to and operated by the commercial pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, experienced an in-flight loss of engine power over Lynwood, Washington. While attempting an emergency landing in a high school football field, the aircraft collided with trees and a chain link fence near the field. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the pilot was not injured. The flight originated from Seattle, Washington, about 15 minutes prior to the accident.

During a telephone interview and subsequent written statement, the pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was to refuel the aircraft at Paine Field, Everett, Washington. Before takeoff, the pilot noted that the fuel gages read slightly below empty and "assumed that this equated to approximately 7 gallons each." The pilot stated that from past experience, when the fuel gauges read empty there was still 10 gallons in the fuel tanks. After takeoff, the pilot switched the fuel selector to the right side fuel tank. About seven miles south of Paine Field, the engine sputtered. The pilot switched the fuel selector to both and activated the auxiliary boost pump and held in the emergency pump. The engine continued to sputter, then quit. The pilot initially identified a residential street for an emergency landing, then diverted to a high school football field when it was apparent that he would not make the street. During the landing roll, the aircraft collided with trees and a chain link fence near the field.

During the aircraft recovery, a mechanic drained the remaining fuel from the wing fuel tanks. The mechanic reported that a total of about three gallons of fuel was drained from both wings.

The pilot reported that the aircraft is equipped with long-range fuel tanks. The total fuel capacity is 80 gallons, with 74 gallons usable.

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