CHI02LA240
CHI02LA240

On August 6, 2002, about 1600 central daylight time, a Cessna 150H, N6995S, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged during a forced landing on a soybean field following a total loss of engine power. The flight was on a visual approach to Dyersville Area Airport (IA80), Dyersville, Iowa. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot was uninjured. The local flight originated from IA80 reportedly at 1500.

The pilot stated in a written statement that he noted the fuel level in the airplane was lower than he was comfortable flying with. The fuel level indicated 2-3 gallons of per tank when he checked it with a fuel dipstick. He obtained a five gallon fuel can, which was reportedly full, and put 2.5 gallons of fuel in each tank. He checked the fuel level in each tank using a fuel dipstick and noted that each tank contained approximately 5 gallons of usable fuel. His estimate of fuel burn for a Cessna 150 was 6 gallons per hour and figured that he had 1 hour and 40 minutes of fuel on board. After fueling, he strained fuel from beneath the airplane cowl for several seconds and noted no abnormalities in the fuel. The airplane was fueled with automotive fuel.

The pilot stated that approximately 40 minutes after takeoff, he started a descent to IA80, and entered a wide left downwind for runway 13. He turned to a wide base for runway 13 because the airplane had some extra airspeed and altitude. He was unsure whether the flaps were extended to 20 degrees on base or final. The airplane was on a 2-mile final for runway 13 and approximately 500-1,000 feet above ground level when the engine "garbled and quit." The pilot then selected a field in which the off airport forced landing was made.

The pilot, age 22, held a commercial pilot certificate with single engine land, multiengine land, and instrument ratings. He also held a certified ground instructor and a certified flight instructor certificate with single engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. He reported accumulating a total time of 1,065 hours, of which 5 hours were in the make and model of the accident airplane.

The airplane, serial number 15067695, was manufactured in 1967 with two standard fuel tanks having a total usable fuel capacity of 22.5 gallons. The total unusable fuel for a Cessna 150H is 3.5 gallons. Performance charts within the Cessna 150H Owner's Manual do not provide allowances for takeoff fuel consumption.

The airplane was resting inverted approximately 3/4 statute miles west of IA80. The airplane was preceded by a 36 foot long ground scar and 89 feet of damaged soybean plants. The ground scar and damaged soybean plants were oriented on a magnetic heading of 230 degrees. Local law enforcement did not smell any fuel and did not note any evidence of fuel spillage. Examination of the airplane by the Federal Aviation Administration found a total of approximately one quart of fuel in the fuel tanks. The examination did not find any evidence of fuel spillage. The tail was lowered to a 10-15 degree tail down attitude, and the engine was started after 5-8 propeller revolutions. The engine ran at idle for approximately one minute at which time the engine was shut down using the mixture control.

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