NTSB Identification: DEN99FA071.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 03, 1999 in CEDAR CITY, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/16/2001
Aircraft: Mooney M20E, registration: N5594Q
Injuries: 3 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 pilot contacted DUATS five separate times to plan his trip to Cedar City, Utah. The flight departed Boulder, Colorado, at 0908 and landed at Nucla, Colorado, at 1122 because of weather. The pilot departed Nucla, without refueling, at 1207. He received an in-flight IFR clearance at 1324, and proceeded on to Cedar City in IMC. At 1431, the pilot declared minimum fuel, and at 1443, the pilot declared an emergency for fuel exhaustion. The pilot reported that the engine started, and then at 1450, he said that he was circling to the ground. Although the pilot didn't say if the engine was running during the final minute of flight, physical evidence at the accident site suggested that it was not. An FAA inspector, who was driving southwest bound on I-15, approximately 7,000 feet south of the impact point, at the time of the accident, reported mist, light rain mixed with light snow, and visibility estimated to be 5 car lengths. An Air Force helicopter located the downed airplane at 1608. There were no indications of fuel in the aircraft at the accident scene.

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

The pilot's inadequate fuel consumption calculations. Factors were the loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion and the obscuring weather conditions.

Full narrative available

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