NYC95LA046
NYC95LA046

On December 26, 1994, about 1950 eastern standard time, a Mooney M20J, N201JT, piloted by Delmar Joe Cowan, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in a residential area of Huber Heights, Ohio. The pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. There was no flight plan for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, he departed Wichita, Kansas at 1415 destined for the Green County Airport, Dayton, Ohio, on a personal flight. In a written statement made to the Ohio State Police after the accident, the pilot stated:

...According to the POH, I had at least 50 gallons [of fuel] aboard [max useable fuel capacity 64 gallons]...According to the chart I would burn approximately 9.6 gallons per hour or 38 gallons which would be sufficient for my destination and a 1 hour reserve...On descent into [Green County] the left side ran dry. I still felt that I had approximately 1 hour [of fuel] in the right side. [Green County] was fogged in [at the time of arrival]. After circling 2-3 times, I then headed on to Dayton International and ran out of fuel. I then crashed.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector's report stated:

Investigation of the crash scene indicated that the airplane first hit the road, clipped a mailbox and then skidded into a parked car...The airplane came to rest on top of an automobile parked in the driveway [4 miles southeast from Dayton International].

The FAA post accident examination of the airplane revealed that both fuel tanks were empty. The main fuel strainer was checked and also found empty. The fuel selector was on the right tank.

According to times contained in a statement submitted by the pilot, the pilot indicated the airplane had been airborne 4 hours 35 minutes at the time of the accident.

Using the airborne flight time of 4 hr 35 minutes, 50 gallons, which the pilot estimated was on board at takeoff, calculated a fuel burn of 10.95 gallons per hour (gph), with no allowance for climb.

The FAA Inspector's report also stated:

Conversation with the previous pilot [who flew the airplane] indicated more like 44 gallons [of fuel] on board [when the accident pilot departed].

Using 44 gallons, and based upon the pilot's estimated fuel burn of 9.6 gph, with no allowance for climb, the airplane would reach fuel exhaustion after 4 hours 35 minutes.

According to fuel burn data from Lycoming for the IO-360-A series of engines, cruise fuel burn could vary between 8.3 gph at best economy and 9.8 gph at best power for a power setting of 2200 RPM and 21" manifold pressure, which the pilot reported using.

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