ERA09LA208
ERA09LA208

On March 21, 2009 at 1730 central daylight time, a Cessna 150E, N4057U, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Colombia, Mississippi. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The cross-country flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, he originally departed from a private airstrip near Colombia, Mississippi at approximately 0800 with full fuel tanks. He flew to the Natchez-Adams County Airport (HEZ), Natchez, Mississippi, to pick up a passenger, arriving at approximately 0900. The pilot and passenger then flew approximately one hour to the Columbia-Marion County Airport (0R0), Columbia, Mississippi.

Prior to departure from 0R0, for a return flight to HEZ, the pilot added 10.74 gallons of fuel, leaving about "an inch and a half" of space between the fuel and the top of the fuel tank in each wing. He and the passenger departed 0R0 around 1500 and arrived at HEZ at 1600.

The pilot dropped off his passenger, and prepared for his return flight to 0R0. He checked his fuel gauges and determined that he had enough fuel to make the flight back to 0R0 (one gauge indicated half full and one gauge indicated ¾ full). He did not look in the tanks and did not add more fuel at that time. The pilot stated he relied mostly on his fuel gauges in determining how much fuel he had onboard.

The pilot flew for approximately one hour before the engine lost power. At that time, the airplane was on final approach to runway 5 at 0R0, at an altitude of 1,500 feet. The pilot attempted unsuccessfully to restart the engine, and he subsequently prepared for a forced landing to a field. During the forced landing, the airplane impacted pine trees less than half a mile southwest of the airport, substantially damaging the wing spars and firewall.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the fuel tanks were not compromised, the right fuel tank was dry and the left fuel tank contained only "a trace of fuel." Less than a pint of fuel was drained from the gascolator. The fuel selector was found in the "ON" position. The mixture and throttle were both found to be at the "full in" position, indicating full throttle and a rich mixture. The engine was rotated and valve train continuity and compression was obtained on all cylinders. No mechanical failures were identified by the FAA, nor were any reported by the pilot.

According to the Cessna 150E owner's manual, the fuel tanks had a total capacity of 26 gallons, 3.5 gallons of which were unusable. At an altitude of 2,500 feet, the airplane's engine consumed 7.2 gallons of fuel per hour at full power with a properly leaned mixture. However, the pilot stated that he kept the mixture "all the way in" during the entire flight. According to the owner's manual, the proper leaning procedure during cruise was to "lean to maximum RPM."

Examination of an airport log from HEZ revealed the airplane arrived at 1522 and departed at 1635.

Fuel receipts provided by the Columbia-Marion County Airport confirmed the pilot purchased 10.74 gallons of fuel on March 21, 2009 at 1152.

The most recent annual inspection was completed on the airplane on July 3, 2008, at a total aircraft time of 3,560 hours.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. The pilot had accumulated 858 hours of flight experience, 12 hours of which were in the Cessna 150E. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on January 8, 2009.

The 1735 reported weather at Pine Belt Regional Airport (PIB), located 27 nautical miles east of 0R0, included winds from 060 degrees at 5 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 24 degrees Celsius, dew point 3 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.25 inches of mercury.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page