This is an excerpt from a report made to the Aviation Safety Reporting System. The narrative is written by the pilot, rather than FAA or NTSB officials. To maintain anonymity, many details, such as aircraft model or airport, are often scrubbed from the reports.
My student and I worked on a weight and balance sheet for the performance of the Cessna 152. We then walked outside to do our preflight inspection. Performed our run-up and took off.
We worked on some go-around, crosswind landing, and normal landing procedures. Then we departed to work on maneuvers, such as slow flight, steep turns, and stalls. Everything was going well.
We then decided to head back and do a few laps in the pattern to work on my student’s landing skills.
Coming on our third pattern we were on base to final when all of the sudden the engine started sputtering to quit. At this point I cross check that our carb heat and full mixture was in — sure enough everything was there.
I then evaluated the circumstance and realized that we wouldn’t be able to glide into airport and would need to land else where.
On base to final we would fly by a park. I made a 180 towards it to manage to land on the field but was too fast and too high for the field. I attempted to do a steep spiral above the field to lose altitude without getting faster, at about the 180 of my 360 turn, we started to hear the stall horn, we were too slow and far from the landing field.
I quickly would need to select another option in front of us.
By the grace of God I managed to put it down in between two house in a residential area.
I believe that this event could have been avoided by simply cross checking the amount of fuel we had after the student went out to check as it is not yet determined what the factors were to the accident.
As simple as cross checking the fuel quantity of the aircraft or any other things that only take a few minutes to do should be performed and not overlooked.
Even the smallest routine should not be taken slightly and, with this being said, I hope that others can learn from my mistake and avoid making the same mistake that could have potentially cost us our lives. Create your own checklist before getting into the plane with your student, analyze all aspects of the situation, and do not get complacent.
Primary Problem: Human Factors