NTSB Identification: ERA10LA047
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 03, 2009 in Fairview, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: MOONEY M20C, registration: N6896U
Injuries: 2 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 was about 8,000 feet above mean sea level on an instrument flight rules flight when the pilot reported a total loss of engine power to air traffic control (ATC). Upon request of the pilot, ATC provided vectors to a nearby airport. When it became apparent that the airplane would not make it, the pilot elected to land in an empty field divided by a line of trees. As the airplane made its final approach, its right wing impacted a tree, causing the airplane to swing around and impact the ground nose first before coming to rest inverted. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector reported no visual indication or odor of fuel at the accident site. The wreckage recovery crew also reported that no fuel was observed during the recovery process. A wreckage examination revealed no discrepancy with the airplane’s fuel system. The pilot stated that the airplane was topped off 17 days prior to the accident and that he flew four flights for a total of 4 hours, including the accident flight.

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

A total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot’s inadequate preflight fuel planning.

Full narrative available

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