NTSB Identification: LAX97FA253.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 18, 1997 in PLACERVILLE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/04/1999
Aircraft: Mooney M20J, registration: N405LA
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane collided with trees and a residence after a loss of engine power while on final approach to runway 23. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postimpact fire, to include all engine accessories, the cockpit, and fuel system. A witness heard the pilot announce that he was on a 2 mile final to runway 23 and no additional transmissions were heard. Other witnesses saw the airplane make a descending, low, sweeping turn to the southwest just above the tree line, in a left wing down attitude just prior to the collision with the trees and residence 1 mile west of the airport. The engine was disassembled and examined with no anomalies noted which would have precluded the engine from producing power. The landing gear was in the down position, and the fuel selector was in the off position. Fuel load and usage was reconstructed based upon the distance between the origin and destination airports. The trip required 15 gallons of fuel. The airplane's last known fueling was on July 17th at the departure airport, when each wing tank was filled with 10 gallons. It is not known how much fuel was present in each tank prior to this fueling. Flight hours subsequent to the July 17th fueling could not be determined. Diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, was detected in the pilot's blood at 0.186 ug/ml, and in the liver at 1.594 ug/ml

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

A loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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