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The pilot had just bought the aircraft and was delivering it to his home. The previous owner had not flown the aircraft extensively and was unable to assist with performance and fuel information. As a result the owner used the cruise performance information available in the pilot's handbook. This information showed an endurance of 7.9 hours and a range of 845 miles. After refuelling to full tanks at Hughenden the pilot intended flying to Barcaldine and refuelling there. The turbulence enroute was considerable so the pilot elected to depart early the next morning to avoid the turbulence. He dipped the tanks and found that they were over half full. Since he considered that this would give him four hours of endurance he departed for Roma without refuelling. The ground speed obtained during the flight would have required a flight time of 223 minutes to Roma. While enroute, the engine failed due to fuel exhaustion. He conducted a forced landing on a road and obtained fuel to complete the flight. The pilot later learned that the endurance figures quoted in the handbook were optimistic. He also found that the actual fuel used during flights was much higher than he had expected. By completing full flight plans he has been able to establish accurate fuel consumption figures for his aircraft. After the landing the pilot attempted to activate the ELT using the remote control on the aircraft instrument panel. The unit did not operate because of a flat Lithium battery in the remote control unit. After the battery was replaced the unit was able to function correctly.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 15KB]
General details
Date: 26 October 1996 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 9:05 EST  
 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
 Occurrence type: Fuel exhaustion 
Release date: 09 December 1996 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 150G 
Aircraft registration: VH-KPD 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Barcaldine QLD
Destination:Roma QLD
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Last update 28 October 2014