BFO96LA014
BFO96LA014

On October 22, 1995, at 1805 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20E, N5744Q, lost engine power and made a forced landing in a bean field near Shady Side, Maryland. The certificated private pilot and the passenger were not injured. The aircraft sustained substantial damage. The aircraft was being operated as a personal flight under 14 CFR 91 when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated from Easton, Maryland, at approximately 1750. The intended destination was Freeway Airport, in Mitchellville, Maryland.

The pilot reported that he completed his preflight inspection satisfactorily. He stated that the aircraft was at an altitude of 1400 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL) when the engine lost partial power. He stated that all attempts to regain engine power were unsuccessful. The pilot stated that he "...set up for a forced landing in an open field but did not have sufficient altitude/airspeed to clear the tree tops bordering the field." The airplane collided with trees during the forced landing.

The airplane was examined at the accident site by an FAA Safety Inspector. The examination revealed that the left fuel tank was empty, and the right fuel tank was half full. The fuel selector was found selected to the right tank. The pilot reported that he switched back to the right tank. The airplane engine was removed and transported to T. S. Alphin Aircraft in Hagerstown, Maryland, for a test run.

The engine operated satisfactorily during the test run. During the test run the engine attained 27 inches of manifold pressure and 2700 rpm. During the engine test run, investigators noted that the line from the fuel pump to the fuel injector line was leaking fuel. Further examination of the fuel injector line revealed that it was brittle.

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