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Because of the load carried the pilot could not take a full load of fuel. The aircraft was not equipped with a calibrated dipstick or a ladder. Due to the position of the tank caps on top of the high wing the absence of these items of equipment made it difficult for the pilot to make an accurate visual assessment of the fuel contents. After checking the tanks the pilot arranged for 30 litres of fuel to be added to the right tank. The reported fuel gauge indications at engine start were 30 US gallons (113 litres) in the left tank and 35 US gallons (132 litres) in the right tank. His planned fuel consumption rate was 60 litres an hour, indicating a total endurance of just over four hours. The flight plan time for the flight was slightly under three hours. The flight proceeded normally initially and the pilot said he used a power setting of 23-24 inches of manifold pressure and 2400 RPM. The cruise fuel flow was set to 90 pounds per hour (57 litres). Near Henty while cruising at 4000 feet the pilot became concerned when the total indicated fuel contents had fallen to 25 US gallons (95 litres) and he advised Melbourne Flight Service that he would land at Mangalore which was on his planned track. Not long afterwards the total gauge indications fell to under 10 US gallons (38 litres) and he told flight Service he was diverting to Shepparton, with an estimate of 0950 hours for arrival there. At about 10 miles from Shepparton the engine misfired and the pilot changed the tank selection from right to left. He entered the circuit at Shepparton on mid downwind at about 1800 feet and tracked for left base runway 18. On base leg the engine failed completely and the pilot realised he could not reach the runway. He selected a grass area into wind and touched down firmly while tracking approximately west. The nose wheel detached on the soft surface and the right main gear leg was damaged as the aircraft slid to a stop. Inspection of the fuel tanks revealed there was no fuel left in either tank. Testing of the fuel flow gauge showed it was accurate. No evidence was found to show that there had been any fuel leakage or loss in flight. Having regard for this it was likely that on DEPARTURE Bankstowm the fuel contents were somewhat less than the pilot thought. A calibration check of the fuel gauges showed significant errors. At an indicated contents of 30 US gallons the left tank held 22.5 gallons, and when the right gauge indicated 35 US gallons the right tank contents were 26.4 gallons.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 24KB]
General details
Date: 24 September 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 950 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria  
Release date: 27 June 1989 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 210 
Aircraft registration: VH-JUP 
Serial number: 210-60552 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Bankstown NSW
Departure time:0705
Destination:Moorabbin VIC
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