NTSB Identification: LAX99LA276.
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Accident occurred Friday, August 20, 1999 in LAKEPORT, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/14/2001
Aircraft: Mooney M20E, registration: N6022Q
Injuries: 1 Serious.
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 airplane's engine lost power during takeoff climb out on a post maintenance check flight, which was performed following repair of damage caused by a gear-up landing. Among other repairs, the engine had been removed, inspected, and reinstalled. The pilot reported that soon after takeoff, while passing the departure end of the runway, the engine started losing power and running rough. He started a turn, intending to land downwind on the departure runway using the partial engine power available. During the turn the engine ceased producing power completely. Because of low airspeed and altitude, the pilot was unable to glide the aircraft to the runway and crashed in a vineyard. An FAA inspector examined the engine and reported there was a loose B-nut on a fuel injection system hose where the hose attached to the fuel divider on top of the engine. When the electric fuel pump was turned on fuel sprayed from the loose B-nut. The inspector reported that the B-nut required about one turn in the tightening direction to reach the snug position. No other discrepancies were noted. The engine was installed on a test stand and run. With the B-nut tight, the engine was started and ran smoothly. The engine was accelerated to full power and smoothly produced about 2,700 rpm. After about 5 minutes at full throttle, the B-nut was loosened. After 1/8 of a turn fuel came out of the hose end. After 1/4 turn the engine began to run rough and between 1/4 and 1/2 turn the engine abruptly stopped.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The failure of engine shop maintenance personnel to tighten the fuel line fitting during assembly of the engine, and failure of the installing maintenance personnel to detect and tighten the loose fitting during the engine installation and annual inspection. Full narrative available
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