NTSB Identification: ATL97LA028.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 26, 1996 in DAYTONA BEACH, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/05/1997
Aircraft: Mooney M20F, registration: N737JC
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

Because the flight was taking longer than expected, the pilot elected to divert for fuel. While being vectored for an approach, the engine quit. During the ensuing forced landing, the airplane collided with trees and the ground. There was no evidence of a loss of fuel during the flight nor at the accident site, and the engine was operated following the accident. However, testing of the fuel injector servo revealed that its flow exceeded the maximum limit. The pilot stated he was using 11 gallons per hour for fuel usage planning. Using the power setting and altitude the pilot reported he used during the flight, the engine manufacturers operating manual indicated that the fuel usage would be between 11.3 and 13 gallons per hour (gph), depending on the mixture setting. Based on the elapsed time of the flight, the usable fuel supply in the airplane, and the excessive fuel servo flow, at 11.3 gph, about six gallons of fuel would have remained in the airplane. At 13 gph, more fuel than the usable capacity would have been needed. The fuel usage, therefore, exceeded the pilot's planned usage, discounting the servo's excessive flow rate.

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

The pilot's inadequate in-flight fuel consumption calculations, and the excessive flow of the fuel injector servo, that combined to result in fuel exhaustion.

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