|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : azo|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 874|
msl bound upper : 2500
|Controlling Facilities||tower : azo|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 10|
flight time total : 60
flight time type : 6
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
none taken : unable
|Consequence||faa : reviewed incident with flight crew|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I departed the kalamazoo TRSA at XD20 pm with final destination being kalamazoo round trip to big beaver airport in troy, mi. Total distance of flight was 227 mi. Fuel estimate was 15.5 gals with an additional .5 allowance for 30 min reserve. My flight planning was based on a WX briefing taken from lansing flight service at XA30 am that same day. I figured my gndspd to be 130 KTS from kalamazoo to troy and 70 KTS on the return leg. I had signed to have the aircraft from midday pm until after pm, but due to circumstances I was not dispatched the aircraft until XC43 pm. Upon preflight I discovered the fuel quantity to be low so I waited until another student was done with the fuel truck and proceeded to fuel my aircraft. Unfortunately the truck ran out. Yet since I had approximately 20 gals I deemed it more than enough to complete the trip. Finally at XD20 pm. I was cleared for takeoff, 1 hour and 20 mins behind. Yet my times en route were close to estimate and I landed in troy at XE35 pm. Since I was behind on my dispatch time I taxied back and departed big beaver at XE52 pm. I departed with 12 gals of fuel remaining. My estimate was 9.5 gals on the return trip. The problem that arose at that point was that my gndspd dropped to an average of 40 KTS. Now I was burning more fuel and losing more time. I attempted a lower altitude but found it turbulent there so I continued the flight at 4500' MSL. Then at 25 mi east of the kalamazoo airport I had to choose on whether to land and refuel or continue to press on and avoid further tardiness. The right fuel gauge indicated between 1 and 2 gals and the left fuel gauge indicated between 3 and 5 gals. Being already 1 1/2 hours late I decided to press on. I was more concerned with the time and was sure I would make it. It turned out to be the worst decision I have ever made. At 20 mi east of the airport I requested immediate landing and informed the tower that I was extremely low on fuel. The tower cleared me and I began a long, slow approach to runway 27. At 4 mi out the engine went to idle. I rocked the wings in hope of getting more fuel and the power came on again. My height or altitude at this point was 2500' MSL. At 20 mi out I had reduced power and leaned the mixture out and began a slow descent. But at 2 1/2 mi out the engine came to a stop. I chose an open field and then went through my emergency checklist. I then made a short field, soft landing on the field.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: EMERGENCY LNDG, FUEL EXHAUSTION.
Narrative: I DEPARTED THE KALAMAZOO TRSA AT XD20 PM WITH FINAL DEST BEING KALAMAZOO ROUND TRIP TO BIG BEAVER ARPT IN TROY, MI. TOTAL DISTANCE OF FLT WAS 227 MI. FUEL ESTIMATE WAS 15.5 GALS WITH AN ADDITIONAL .5 ALLOWANCE FOR 30 MIN RESERVE. MY FLT PLANNING WAS BASED ON A WX BRIEFING TAKEN FROM LANSING FLT SVC AT XA30 AM THAT SAME DAY. I FIGURED MY GNDSPD TO BE 130 KTS FROM KALAMAZOO TO TROY AND 70 KTS ON THE RETURN LEG. I HAD SIGNED TO HAVE THE ACFT FROM MIDDAY PM UNTIL AFTER PM, BUT DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES I WAS NOT DISPATCHED THE ACFT UNTIL XC43 PM. UPON PREFLT I DISCOVERED THE FUEL QUANTITY TO BE LOW SO I WAITED UNTIL ANOTHER STUDENT WAS DONE WITH THE FUEL TRUCK AND PROCEEDED TO FUEL MY ACFT. UNFORTUNATELY THE TRUCK RAN OUT. YET SINCE I HAD APPROX 20 GALS I DEEMED IT MORE THAN ENOUGH TO COMPLETE THE TRIP. FINALLY AT XD20 PM. I WAS CLRED FOR TKOF, 1 HR AND 20 MINS BEHIND. YET MY TIMES ENRTE WERE CLOSE TO ESTIMATE AND I LANDED IN TROY AT XE35 PM. SINCE I WAS BEHIND ON MY DISPATCH TIME I TAXIED BACK AND DEPARTED BIG BEAVER AT XE52 PM. I DEPARTED WITH 12 GALS OF FUEL REMAINING. MY ESTIMATE WAS 9.5 GALS ON THE RETURN TRIP. THE PROB THAT AROSE AT THAT POINT WAS THAT MY GNDSPD DROPPED TO AN AVERAGE OF 40 KTS. NOW I WAS BURNING MORE FUEL AND LOSING MORE TIME. I ATTEMPTED A LOWER ALT BUT FOUND IT TURBULENT THERE SO I CONTINUED THE FLT AT 4500' MSL. THEN AT 25 MI E OF THE KALAMAZOO ARPT I HAD TO CHOOSE ON WHETHER TO LAND AND REFUEL OR CONTINUE TO PRESS ON AND AVOID FURTHER TARDINESS. THE RIGHT FUEL GAUGE INDICATED BTWN 1 AND 2 GALS AND THE LEFT FUEL GAUGE INDICATED BTWN 3 AND 5 GALS. BEING ALREADY 1 1/2 HRS LATE I DECIDED TO PRESS ON. I WAS MORE CONCERNED WITH THE TIME AND WAS SURE I WOULD MAKE IT. IT TURNED OUT TO BE THE WORST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE. AT 20 MI E OF THE ARPT I REQUESTED IMMEDIATE LNDG AND INFORMED THE TWR THAT I WAS EXTREMELY LOW ON FUEL. THE TWR CLRED ME AND I BEGAN A LONG, SLOW APCH TO RWY 27. AT 4 MI OUT THE ENG WENT TO IDLE. I ROCKED THE WINGS IN HOPE OF GETTING MORE FUEL AND THE PWR CAME ON AGAIN. MY HEIGHT OR ALT AT THIS POINT WAS 2500' MSL. AT 20 MI OUT I HAD REDUCED PWR AND LEANED THE MIXTURE OUT AND BEGAN A SLOW DSCNT. BUT AT 2 1/2 MI OUT THE ENG CAME TO A STOP. I CHOSE AN OPEN FIELD AND THEN WENT THROUGH MY EMER CHKLIST. I THEN MADE A SHORT FIELD, SOFT LNDG ON THE FIELD.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.