This January 2009 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: Pescadero, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The Cessna took off from the coastal airport with the left fuel tank at 5/8 full and the right fuel tank at 1/4 full. After flying 60 miles, the pilot noted that the left fuel gauge read zero and the right fuel gauge read 1/8. The remaining 20 miles of the flight was to be over water and rugged coast line. Due to the airplane’s low fuel state, the pilot decided to make a precautionary landing in a freshly plowed field. At the end of the landing roll the airplane nosed over.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate preflight fuel planning and preparation. Contributing to the accident was the lack of a suitable area for a forced landing.
For more information: NTSB.gov