NTSB Identification: IAD01LA008.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 21, 2000 in MANASSAS, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/2001
Aircraft: Conn SONERAI II, registration: N188P
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

The pilot encountered turbulence while passing over a mountain range, en route to his destination airport. During the turbulence encounter, the pilot's knee came in contact with the instrument panel, and broke the right and left fuel pump toggle switches. Erratic fuel pressure indications were observed from the fuel pressure gauge. The pilot declared an emergency and as he prepared for a landing at a nearby airport, the engine lost power. About 1 mile from the end of the runway, the airplane encountered a downdraft, which caused the airplane to descend 600 feet. When the pilot realized he would not make the runway, he performed a forced landing in an open field. Examination of the airplane revealed the right fuel pump switch was 'completely shattered' and the left fuel pump switch was partially broken in the 'on' position.

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

Fuel starvation of the engine, caused by the fracturing of the fuel pump switches during a turbulence encounter.

Full narrative available

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