Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna 150-G, VH-RXI, 186 km NW of Meekatharra WA, 15 October 1990

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot had commenced operations with full fuel tanks and was expecting a safe endurance of four hours. After three and a half hours the pilot was flying the aircraft in a right hand turn at 500 feet above ground level when the engine lost power, regained it momentarily and then stopped completely. The pilot rolled the wings level and commenced a forced landing approach. The aircraft touched down on a rocky ridge and collided with a number of trees. Twelve litres of fuel were drained from the right hand wing tank. The left hand wing tank was empty. The aircraft's capacity is 96 litres of which six litres are unusable. At normal fuel usage rates a safe endurance of 240 minutes can be expected. As the pilot was operating at medium power settings, with flap selected much of the time and the mixture selected to rich, the endurance achieved was probably correct. The most probable explanation for the engine malfunction is that the fuel feed lines were unported from the limited amount of fuel remaining in the right wing during the right hand turn. There was insufficient time for the engine to restart, once the wings were levelled, before the pilot had to land the aircraft.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 15 October 1990   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1230    
Location   (show map): 186 km NW of Meekatharra    
State: Western Australia    
Release date: 04 April 1991   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 150  
Aircraft registration VH-RXI  
Serial number 15065163  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Landor WA  
Departure time 900  
Destination Landor WA