NTSB Identification: FTW98LA042.
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Accident occurred Monday, November 03, 1997 in OZONA, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/30/1998
Aircraft: Mooney M20C, registration: N1360W
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.

During a return flight from McKinney to Ozona, TX, the aircraft's engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion. The pilot had flown the aircraft for 2.4 hours on the flight from Ozona to McKinney on the day before the accident. On the day of the accident, the pilot found that there was no fuel available at the departure airport, therefore he had planned a fuel stop at Abilene, TX. During cruise flight and 'after not encountering anticipated quartering head winds,' the pilot calculated that the time of flight direct to Ozona would be 2.5 hours. He then made the decision to 'continue direct to Ozona.' Approximately 20 miles northeast of Ozona, the engine lost power. The pilot initiated a forced landing to a pasture, and during the landing roll, the wings impacted some 'scrubby' trees. The pilot reported to an FAA inspector that he had 'run out of fuel.' The pilot also reported that he had flown the same route of flight before without refueling; however, the airplane's engine had been changed, and he had not anticipated the higher fuel burn rate.

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

the pilot's improper planning/decision, which led to fuel exhaustion, loss of engine power, and a forced landing. A related factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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