NTSB Identification: ATL97LA005.
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Accident occurred Monday, October 14, 1996 in GRIFFIN, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Mooney M-20F, registration: N6434Q
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Ten minutes into the flight, and while on a visual approach for a full stop landing, the pilot reported that the engine developed a rough running condition. The procedures attempted by the pilot to restore flight sustaining engine power, failed. The pilot selected a forced landing area. During the landing roll, the airplane collided with a fence, and came to rest adjacent to a state road. Fuel samples were collected from both main fuel tanks and the fuel selector at the accident site. An additional fuel sample was collected from the fuel tanker at the departure airport that refueled the airplane. The examination of the fuel samples from both main fuel tanks disclosed an abnormally high level of contamination and an abnormally cloudy visual appearance. The samples contained sand, rust and small pieces of fuel tank sealant. In addition to the debris found in the two main fuel tanks, unidentified organic debris was found in the fuel sample collected at the fuel selector valve. The examination of the fuel injector filter assembly disclosed an abnormally high level of coarse debris contamination. The origin of the debris found in the fuel system was not determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

Fuel system contamination that resulted in fuel starvation and subsequent loss of engine power. A factor was rough terrain at the emergency landing site.

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