On July 9, 1996, approximately 1241 Pacific daylight time, a Mooney M18LA, N4077, registered to Bryce Boylan, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain near Beaver Marsh, Oregon. The private pilot, the sole occupant was seriously injured. The 14 CFR 91 flight originated at Tulelake, California approximately 1130 and was en route to College Place, Washington. Visual meteorological conditions existed in the area. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated in a telephone interview that he had topped off both tanks in Tulelake and expected to have enough fuel to make it all the way to College Place. However, he planned on stopping in Redmond, Oregon, for fuel anyway. During the trip, he transferred fuel from the lower tank to the upper tank and the transfer pump seemed to be working normally. He was maintaining about 2000 feet above the ground level and about 90-95 miles per hour indicated airspeed. He was not using any carburetor heat.
In the Beaver Creek area, about 78 nautical miles from the departure airport, the engine started slowing down. He attempted to transfer fuel using the transfer pump but wasn't sure it was working. After about 10-15 seconds the engine was windmilling, so the pilot attempted a landing on a road. The next thing he could recall was someone cutting him out of the wreckage.
In the pilot's written accident report, he stated that "...it is my feeling that I ran out of gas..." and "...tanks were both filled before leaving Tulelake..." The salvage crew which picked up the aircraft about 6 hours after the accident found fuel running from the fuel tank and the ground was saturated with fuel. They also documented the wreckage location and two trees that had been damaged.
Examination of the flight controls, engine, transfer pump and fuel system by FAA inspectors did not reveal any discrepancies.
There were no weather observations taken in the Beaver Creek area. Weather conditions listed in this report came from Redmond, Oregon, about 75 miles north of the accident site. Using a lapse rate of 3 degrees Centigrade, the conditions there at 2000 feet above ground level would have been between "serious icing- descent power" and "moderate icing- cruise power" as listed on the Carburetor Icing chart published by Transport Canada.