NTSB Identification: SEA97LA184.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 10, 1997 in BOUNTIFUL, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/04/1998
Aircraft: Mooney M20C, registration: N9666M
Injuries: 1 Serious,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.

The pilot reported that while on the downwind leg, the engine lost power, quit, then restarted. The pilot tried unsuccessfully to switch fuel tanks, and when the airplane turned onto the base leg, the engine quit again. The pilot stated that he could not make the runway and turned toward an open field. Just prior to touchdown, the engine regained power, and the pilot turned back toward the runway. The engine quit again and the airplane struck an empty tanker truck which severed the right wing from the fuselage. Postcrash investigation revealed that there was no evidence of a fuel spill or fuel smell around the right wing. There was no fuel in the fuel line to the carburetor and the carburetor fuel bowl contained less than one tablespoon of fuel. The left wing contained approximately 15 gallons of fuel in the fuel tank. After the wreckage was retrieved, the engine was prepared for an engine run. Fuel was supplied via the left wing. The fuel pump was activated and the engine was started. The engine ran smoothly for three minutes before it was shut down. Both fuel and oil pressure gages were indicating in the normal range.

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

The pilot's inadequate fuel management which resulted in fuel starvation.

Full narrative available

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