NTSB Identification: DEN00LA137.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 22, 2000 in LONGMONT, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2001
Aircraft: Mooney M20C, registration: N6253U
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After 45 minutes of flight, while conducting touch-and-go landings on a local area personal flight, a total loss of power occurred during climb following a touch-and-go landing. The student pilot attempted to turn back and land the aircraft in the opposite direction on the runway he had departed. He was unable to make it to the runway and landed in a field where the aircraft struck a ditch during landing roll causing substantial damage. The pilot stated the engine quit due to fuel starvation, and investigation verified that the fuel tank selected contained no usable fuel. The aircraft fuel capacity was 75.6 usable gallons and the flight departed with an estimated 25 gallons on board. Review of the pilot's operating handbook for the airplane provided information that the pilot's handbook gave specific preflight and procedural guidance to pilots to verify fuel on board prior to departure and to ensure that critical regimes of flight (landing and takeoff) were conducted on the fullest tank. The student pilot had 65 hours total flight time and 61 hours in the accident aircraft make and model.

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

The pilot's improper fuel tank selector position resulting in fuel starvation and the ditch impacted during the landing roll. A contributing factor was the pilot's failure to follow published procedures and directives.

Full narrative available

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