NTSB Identification: CHI98LA020.
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Accident occurred Monday, October 20, 1997 in ST CHARLES, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/30/1998
Aircraft: Mooney M20C, registration: N9449V
Injuries: 1 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.

The pilot said that the airplane had to be 'jump started' at the flight's origination. Shortly after departing, the pilot lost radio communications. Later in the flight, the pilot noted that both fuel gages read empty. The pilot elected to land at a closer airport than his planned destination. Approaching the airport, the pilot attempted to extend the landing gear. Nothing happened. The pilot flew north of the airport and went through the emergency landing gear extension procedure. The pilot returned to the airport and made a low pass over the runway, hoping someone would see him and give him a 'wave off' if the gear was not down. The pilot made another attempt to land, but had to perform a go-around for another airplane in the traffic pattern. On his final landing attempt, the pilot reduced airspeed and established himself on final for a straight-in approach to the runway. The airplane touched down on its 'belly' and slid to a stop on the runway. Examination of the airplane's alternator revealed that the front bearing was broken. Testing of the manual gear extension system revealed that the handcrank would not engage every time the handcrank engage lever was placed in the 'forward' position.

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

failure of the alternator's front bearing, depletion of battery power, and failure of the emergency landing gear extension handcrank to engage during the pilot's attempt to perform the emergency procedure.

Full narrative available

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