|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : bna|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : bna|
tower : tpa
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||instruction : instructor|
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 59|
flight time total : 1112
flight time type : 331
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : provided flight assist|
flight crew : declared emergency
none taken : unable
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
Our flight started XC30 with full fuel, and the time to our destination, leesburg, va, was 4.7 hours. Upon arrival I had the plane topped. It took 35.1 gals. This means the aircraft was burning approximately 7.5 gals/hour. With this figure in mind, the aircraft should go (on 48 gal usable) approximately 6.4 hours total or 5.7 hours with the required 45 mins of night reserve. We started our return trip at XM30 CDT, knowing we had a headwind, and planning on a fuel stop. Our calculations showed we could make it to nashville with adequate reserve and then continue on, but this was not our first choice because of the hassles of a controled field. After unsuccessful attempts to reach small airport FBO's from the air, we decided to proceed to nashville. At about 75 NM from bna we started to encounter increasingly stronger and stronger headwinds. (These may have been due to the thunderstorms that were to move through the area the next morning.) continuing on, calculating and recalculating, I decided that our stop in nashville would not leave us with the required reserve, therefore a stop was planned at the next available airport which was about 35 mi ahead. We were on a VFR flight plan with flight following from bna approach control. We informed them of our plans and continued on. At this time I should have noticed that the fuel gauges were dropping faster than normal. At about 10 NM from the airport we experienced total power loss and, at 6500' with the headwinds we had, I determined we would not make it to the airport. I informed bna of our situation and of the names of all souls on board. They suggested a 4 lane road, but we could not make it either. I saw cars on a road below and watched them to see where, if at all, they were traveling in a straight line. Finding one small section, I headed for it and secured the airplane for an emergency landing. I landed the plane on a 2-LANE road between pwrlines and over oncoming traffic, settling it down softly and stopping it west/O injury to passenger and west/O scratching the plane. As far as the final outcome of this landing, I cannot take the credit because I know that I had the all-powerful help of the lord god almighty. So to god be the glory! Some of the contributing factors are a XA30 CDT departure that morning and a time now of XR00 CDT (17 hours of elapsed time). The time en route from va until the time of the emergency was 5.5 hours. With total fuel on the airplane being 50 gals, this figures to 9.1 gal/hour fuel burn. This is 1.6 gal/hour more than that of the morning flight, even though we were cruising at essentially the same power setting. There are several things that could have caused this: a leaking fuel tank sump, a leaking fuel pump, or a bumped mixture or throttle control. A few recommendations on how to avoid this situation are: allow more room for error in calculations and fuel burn, stop halfway even if it means having to call someone back to the airport for fuel, allow extra time for unexpected WX. I also could have turned back and flown 70 mi with the wind faster than making 40 mi into a stiff headwind. And last but not least, always allow plenty of extra margin for mental and physical stress and fatigue. It was a long day, and no matter how good of a pilot one is, we all get tired.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA FUEL EXHAUSTION OFF ARPT LNDG.
Narrative: OUR FLT STARTED XC30 WITH FULL FUEL, AND THE TIME TO OUR DEST, LEESBURG, VA, WAS 4.7 HRS. UPON ARR I HAD THE PLANE TOPPED. IT TOOK 35.1 GALS. THIS MEANS THE ACFT WAS BURNING APPROX 7.5 GALS/HR. WITH THIS FIGURE IN MIND, THE ACFT SHOULD GO (ON 48 GAL USABLE) APPROX 6.4 HRS TOTAL OR 5.7 HRS WITH THE REQUIRED 45 MINS OF NIGHT RESERVE. WE STARTED OUR RETURN TRIP AT XM30 CDT, KNOWING WE HAD A HEADWIND, AND PLANNING ON A FUEL STOP. OUR CALCULATIONS SHOWED WE COULD MAKE IT TO NASHVILLE WITH ADEQUATE RESERVE AND THEN CONTINUE ON, BUT THIS WAS NOT OUR FIRST CHOICE BECAUSE OF THE HASSLES OF A CTLED FIELD. AFTER UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS TO REACH SMALL ARPT FBO'S FROM THE AIR, WE DECIDED TO PROCEED TO NASHVILLE. AT ABOUT 75 NM FROM BNA WE STARTED TO ENCOUNTER INCREASINGLY STRONGER AND STRONGER HEADWINDS. (THESE MAY HAVE BEEN DUE TO THE TSTMS THAT WERE TO MOVE THROUGH THE AREA THE NEXT MORNING.) CONTINUING ON, CALCULATING AND RECALCULATING, I DECIDED THAT OUR STOP IN NASHVILLE WOULD NOT LEAVE US WITH THE REQUIRED RESERVE, THEREFORE A STOP WAS PLANNED AT THE NEXT AVAILABLE ARPT WHICH WAS ABOUT 35 MI AHEAD. WE WERE ON A VFR FLT PLAN WITH FLT FOLLOWING FROM BNA APCH CTL. WE INFORMED THEM OF OUR PLANS AND CONTINUED ON. AT THIS TIME I SHOULD HAVE NOTICED THAT THE FUEL GAUGES WERE DROPPING FASTER THAN NORMAL. AT ABOUT 10 NM FROM THE ARPT WE EXPERIENCED TOTAL PWR LOSS AND, AT 6500' WITH THE HEADWINDS WE HAD, I DETERMINED WE WOULD NOT MAKE IT TO THE ARPT. I INFORMED BNA OF OUR SITUATION AND OF THE NAMES OF ALL SOULS ON BOARD. THEY SUGGESTED A 4 LANE ROAD, BUT WE COULD NOT MAKE IT EITHER. I SAW CARS ON A ROAD BELOW AND WATCHED THEM TO SEE WHERE, IF AT ALL, THEY WERE TRAVELING IN A STRAIGHT LINE. FINDING ONE SMALL SECTION, I HEADED FOR IT AND SECURED THE AIRPLANE FOR AN EMER LNDG. I LANDED THE PLANE ON A 2-LANE ROAD BTWN PWRLINES AND OVER ONCOMING TFC, SETTLING IT DOWN SOFTLY AND STOPPING IT W/O INJURY TO PAX AND W/O SCRATCHING THE PLANE. AS FAR AS THE FINAL OUTCOME OF THIS LNDG, I CANNOT TAKE THE CREDIT BECAUSE I KNOW THAT I HAD THE ALL-POWERFUL HELP OF THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. SO TO GOD BE THE GLORY! SOME OF THE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS ARE A XA30 CDT DEP THAT MORNING AND A TIME NOW OF XR00 CDT (17 HRS OF ELAPSED TIME). THE TIME ENRTE FROM VA UNTIL THE TIME OF THE EMER WAS 5.5 HRS. WITH TOTAL FUEL ON THE AIRPLANE BEING 50 GALS, THIS FIGURES TO 9.1 GAL/HR FUEL BURN. THIS IS 1.6 GAL/HR MORE THAN THAT OF THE MORNING FLT, EVEN THOUGH WE WERE CRUISING AT ESSENTIALLY THE SAME PWR SETTING. THERE ARE SEVERAL THINGS THAT COULD HAVE CAUSED THIS: A LEAKING FUEL TANK SUMP, A LEAKING FUEL PUMP, OR A BUMPED MIXTURE OR THROTTLE CONTROL. A FEW RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOW TO AVOID THIS SITUATION ARE: ALLOW MORE ROOM FOR ERROR IN CALCULATIONS AND FUEL BURN, STOP HALFWAY EVEN IF IT MEANS HAVING TO CALL SOMEONE BACK TO THE ARPT FOR FUEL, ALLOW EXTRA TIME FOR UNEXPECTED WX. I ALSO COULD HAVE TURNED BACK AND FLOWN 70 MI WITH THE WIND FASTER THAN MAKING 40 MI INTO A STIFF HEADWIND. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, ALWAYS ALLOW PLENTY OF EXTRA MARGIN FOR MENTAL AND PHYSICAL STRESS AND FATIGUE. IT WAS A LONG DAY, AND NO MATTER HOW GOOD OF A PLT ONE IS, WE ALL GET TIRED.
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.