This December 2007 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 152; Location: Fort Worth, Texas; Injuries: None; Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The student pilot reported that prior to departing his home airport on a cross-country flight, the fuel tanks were full. During the flight, he thought the engine started to make a weird sound, and elected to land at a nearby airport. After landing he did an engine run-up and magneto check. No problems were observed, so he continued his flight. During the flight back to his home airport, the engine lost power and he made a forced landing in a vacant field.
The airplane’s fuel strainer was removed on site, and no fuel was found. The Hobbs meter recorded the flight’s duration as 3.2 hours. During the airplane’s recovery, no fuel was observed in the wing’s fuel tanks.
Probable cause: The loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.
For more information: NTSB.gov