NTSB Identification: ATL02FA026
Accident occurred Saturday, December 29, 2001 in Gainesville, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2003
Aircraft: Mooney M20C, registration: N6953V
Injuries: 1 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.

A witness in the local area observed the airplane rocking its wings and then nose down in a spin impacting into trees and the ground and burst into flames. The witness stated that he did not recall hearing any engine noise. Examination of the fuel selector valve found it to be selected to the left tank. Further examination of the fuel system revealed an obstruction in the right wing fuel tank supply line to the engine. The interior walls of the fuel tanks exhibited a heavy application of fuel tank sealing compound material. The left tank fuel screen assembly was removed for examination and appeared to be in a normal configuration. However, ash and unidentified debris was found within the fuel line. Examination of the right tank fuel screen assembly found it to be an unapproved parts configuration. The screen material appeared to be hand fabricated to fit the supply line. Additionally, an obstruction was located in the end of the right wing fuel tank supply line. The obstruction was removed and appeared to be a metal sleeve of unknown origin. The metal sleeve was lodged sideways within the end of the fuel line. A review of the airplane's maintenance records disclosed that the fuel tanks had undergone previous repair.

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

The loss of engine power due to fuel starvation, resulting from fuel system blockage and improper maintenance by maintenance personnel. A factor was the unsuitable terrain.

Full narrative available

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