Sunday, August 11, 2019

Fuel Exhaustion: Cessna 150L, N1701Q; accident occurred August 26, 2018 in Eldorado, Schleicher County, Texas

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Eldorado, TX
Accident Number: GAA18CA514
Date & Time: 08/26/2018, 1900 CDT
Registration: N1701Q
Aircraft: Cessna 150
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot reported that he departed with 26 gallons of fuel. He added that, 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 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, and the airplane bounced, veered left, impacted a pipe, and the nose landing gear collapsed.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the engine mount.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper preflight fuel planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.


Fuel - Fluid level (Cause)

Personnel issues
Fuel planning - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Object/animal/substance - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Fuel exhaustion (Defining event)

Loss of engine power (total)
Attempted remediation/recovery

Off-field or emergency landing
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Landing gear collapse

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 72, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/16/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/31/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 250 hours (Total, all aircraft), 110 hours (Total, this make and model), 180 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N1701Q
Model/Series: 150 L
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1971
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 15073001
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1601 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-200 SERIES
Registered Owner: David Soto
Rated Power: 100 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KOZA, 2382 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 19 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0015 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 237°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots / 20 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 190°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 33°C / 11°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Houston, TX (LVJ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Pecos, TX (PEQ)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1530 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  30.907222, -100.899722 (est)


  1. 70+ yr old newly certificated pilot rented plane to fly from Houston to Pecos,Texas ... 440nm flight. Climbed to 10,500' and ran out of fuel. Glided into field and knocked out the nose-wheel. Pilot dusted himself off and walked away ;)

  2. possible enroute fuel.
    KLVJ-Pearland Regional Airport To 27R-Eldorado Airport 289.8 nm WNW Initial true course: 287 and 152.6 nm E