June 23, Van Nuys, Calif. / Cessna 402A


At 14:50 PDT, a Cessna 402A struck two school buses while making a forced landing on a roadway -mile from the Van Nuys airport. The aircraft apparently ran out of fuel while on approach to the airport. The pilot was not injured, and one bus driver and one child suffered minor injuries. The other driver and 45 other children were not injured. The aircraft touched down about 600 feet north of an intersection and rolled south. At the same time, two school buses were approaching the intersection on a cross street, both traveling in opposite directions. As the buses entered the intersection on a green light, the wing tips of the aircraft struck the front of each bus. Both wing tips (main tanks) separated from the aircraft and each came to rest within the intersection. The aircraft continued to rollout without further incident and the pilot braked to a stop about 1,500 feet south of the intersection. The pilot initially had departed Van Nuys for Grand Canyon, Ariz., but noted a high oil temperature indication on the right engine and made a precautionary landing in Bullhead City, Ariz. The operator dispatched another aircraft to transport the passengers and instructed the pilot to bring the airplane back to Van Nuys. The pilot reported that he did not add any fuel during his turn around in Bullhead City. Investigators found less than 1 gallon of fuel in the left auxiliary tank and less than 5 gallons in the right auxiliary tank. There was no evidence of residual fuel, fuel staining or fuel odor at the site of the separated tip tanks.


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