Lost student pilot runs out of fuel

This January 2010 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Cessna 150. Injuries: 1 Minor. Location: Brownstown, Ill. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot was on the last leg of a three-leg cross country flight. He had departed at 3:35 local time, with 26 gallons of fuel on board. The sun was setting and it was hazy, which made it difficult for him to locate his checkpoint. He flew around in attempt to get back on course but was unable to do so.

As the sun was setting, the airplane ran out of fuel. He performed an off-airport landing to a dark area in the terrain. The emergency field was short and the airplane hit trees.

Probable cause: A total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the student pilot becoming lost/disoriented in flight.

For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: CEN10CA092


  1. Douglas W. Rodrigues says

    His CFI was supposed to review his X-Country planning prior to the flight.  I wonder if that was done?

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