|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : abr|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 4500|
msl bound upper : 4500
|Controlling Facilities||tower : dfw|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||descent other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
pilot : cfi
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 60|
flight time total : 5100
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||aircraft equipment other aircraft equipment : unspecified|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
I was to fly an small aircraft from 3KM to abr to pick up passenger. It was pilot service. I filed IFR, but did not pick up the clearance and did not plan to fly IMC. I planned 3:40 to abr non stop. I personally checked the airplane out (papers, etc) the night before, and saw that it had been topped (75 gallons). The morning of the trip I again visually checked the fuel with a ladder and several witnesses. It was full. After an uneventful flight, when I was 15 mi southeast of abr, the engine quit. Because of the way it sputtered, etc, I knew it was out of fuel. I had flown exactly 3:35 mins. At the time of failure, the gauges showed 1/8 left and nearly 1/2 right. This was consistent with my fuel use because I had burned the left side down to trim the airplane. After I landed on a road, I checked the tanks visually. Both were dry with the bladders wadded up pretty bad. This is why the gauges had shown fuel. Within 10 mins of landing (XA20) I had called FSS and the local FSDO. I put 15 gallons of 100LL into the plane and with the FSDO inspector's permission, flew the plane to abr. A mechanic at abr removed the wing panels and straightened out and resnapped the bladders into place and inspected the caps. He found no obvious problems. He, the FSDO inspector, and I all felt the plane was safe to fly home with one or more stops to check fuel consumption. The fuel consumption on the return trip was normal. Although when I looked at the caps after my forced landing they seemed to be sealed properly, I suspect the right fuel cap as having leaked my 28 gallon reserve out. There was fresh fuel stain on the right side of the fuselage. It is also possible the bladders were wadded up before the fueling and I did not get a full 75 gallons usable put on. In addition, the owner of the airplane, whom I did not know, told me that he had had a fuel siphoning problem with the right cap before, and had his wife not alerted him, he would not have known it. He told me the cap had to be pushed down and latched 'just so' or it would leak. He told me this after the incident.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PLT OF SMA GA ACFT MADE AN OFF ARPT FORCED LNDG DUE TO FUEL STARVATION RESULTING IN NO DAMAGE TO THE ACFT.
Narrative: I WAS TO FLY AN SMA FROM 3KM TO ABR TO PICK UP PAX. IT WAS PLT SVC. I FILED IFR, BUT DID NOT PICK UP THE CLRNC AND DID NOT PLAN TO FLY IMC. I PLANNED 3:40 TO ABR NON STOP. I PERSONALLY CHKED THE AIRPLANE OUT (PAPERS, ETC) THE NIGHT BEFORE, AND SAW THAT IT HAD BEEN TOPPED (75 GALLONS). THE MORNING OF THE TRIP I AGAIN VISUALLY CHKED THE FUEL WITH A LADDER AND SEVERAL WITNESSES. IT WAS FULL. AFTER AN UNEVENTFUL FLT, WHEN I WAS 15 MI SE OF ABR, THE ENG QUIT. BECAUSE OF THE WAY IT SPUTTERED, ETC, I KNEW IT WAS OUT OF FUEL. I HAD FLOWN EXACTLY 3:35 MINS. AT THE TIME OF FAILURE, THE GAUGES SHOWED 1/8 L AND NEARLY 1/2 R. THIS WAS CONSISTENT WITH MY FUEL USE BECAUSE I HAD BURNED THE L SIDE DOWN TO TRIM THE AIRPLANE. AFTER I LANDED ON A ROAD, I CHKED THE TANKS VISUALLY. BOTH WERE DRY WITH THE BLADDERS WADDED UP PRETTY BAD. THIS IS WHY THE GAUGES HAD SHOWN FUEL. WITHIN 10 MINS OF LNDG (XA20) I HAD CALLED FSS AND THE LCL FSDO. I PUT 15 GALLONS OF 100LL INTO THE PLANE AND WITH THE FSDO INSPECTOR'S PERMISSION, FLEW THE PLANE TO ABR. A MECH AT ABR REMOVED THE WING PANELS AND STRAIGHTENED OUT AND RESNAPPED THE BLADDERS INTO PLACE AND INSPECTED THE CAPS. HE FOUND NO OBVIOUS PROBS. HE, THE FSDO INSPECTOR, AND I ALL FELT THE PLANE WAS SAFE TO FLY HOME WITH ONE OR MORE STOPS TO CHK FUEL CONSUMPTION. THE FUEL CONSUMPTION ON THE RETURN TRIP WAS NORMAL. ALTHOUGH WHEN I LOOKED AT THE CAPS AFTER MY FORCED LNDG THEY SEEMED TO BE SEALED PROPERLY, I SUSPECT THE R FUEL CAP AS HAVING LEAKED MY 28 GALLON RESERVE OUT. THERE WAS FRESH FUEL STAIN ON THE R SIDE OF THE FUSELAGE. IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE THE BLADDERS WERE WADDED UP BEFORE THE FUELING AND I DID NOT GET A FULL 75 GALLONS USABLE PUT ON. IN ADDITION, THE OWNER OF THE AIRPLANE, WHOM I DID NOT KNOW, TOLD ME THAT HE HAD HAD A FUEL SIPHONING PROB WITH THE R CAP BEFORE, AND HAD HIS WIFE NOT ALERTED HIM, HE WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN IT. HE TOLD ME THE CAP HAD TO BE PUSHED DOWN AND LATCHED 'JUST SO' OR IT WOULD LEAK. HE TOLD ME THIS AFTER THE INCIDENT.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 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.