LAX07LA212
LAX07LA212

On July 9, 2007, about 1320 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182G, N4521M, lost engine power and nosed over during the subsequent forced landing near Haigh Field, Orland, California. The private pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The pilot and single passenger were not injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed. The flight departed Haigh Field about 1300.

The pilot reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report that prior to departing Palo Alto he estimated that the airplane's fuel tanks were 1/2 full. The flight to Haigh Field took 44 minutes. At Haigh Field he took a passenger on board, who was interested in purchasing the airplane, for a very short local familiarization flight. They flew north of the airport, towards the passenger's ranch property. During the return leg of the flight, about 1,200 feet mean sea level, and about 1 to 2 miles from the airport, the engine quit. The pilot determined that there were too many houses between the airplane and the runway to ensure a safe landing. He located an open crop field and set up for a landing there. He was able to restart the engine, but by that time he was committed to the open field landing. The engine was running at low power at the time of the touchdown. The plowed crop field was soft, and the airplane nosed over at the end of its landing roll.

The passenger stated to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that when he entered the airplane the fuel gauges were showing empty, and the pilot told him not to pay any attention to the fuel gauges. They flew north toward his ranch. During a left turn over Kirkwood road (approximately 10 miles north of the airport), the engine sputtered and quit. The pilot took the controls and stated that they need to return to the airport for fuel. The pilot restarted the engine but it ran for only about 2 seconds. The pilot decided to execute a forced landing into a crop field. They landed hard and traveled about 100 feet before nosing over.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the airplane on July 24, 2007. The inspector reported that the personnel who recovered the airplane from the corn field had drained a total of 1 gallon of fuel from the airplane. On scene personnel reported to the inspector that there was a small drip from one of the fuel caps. When the cap was tightened slightly the drip stopped. The gascolator was about 3/4 full of fuel and there was no fuel present in the fuel line from the gascolator to the carburetor. There was a very small amount of fuel present in the carburetor bowl. The fuel selector was successfully tested for functionality. The fuel quantity transmitters were tested and observed to read correctly on the cockpit fuel gauges. The engine was rotated by hand and all six cylinders demonstrated compression.

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