The pilot departed with 26 gallons of fuel. About 3.5 hours into the flight, he asked flight following where the closest airports were because he had become concerned that he was “near the fuel limit.”
During their exchange, the Cessna 150’s engine lost power. He declared an emergency, rocked the wings, applied full-rich mixture, and restarted the engine, “which worked for 15 seconds or less.”
He then conducted an emergency landing near the end of a road in Eldorado, Texas. The airplane bounced, veered left, hit a pipe, and the nose landing gear collapsed.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the engine mount.
The pilot reported there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper preflight fuel planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.
This August 2018 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.