FTW98LA042
FTW98LA042

On November 3, 1997, at 1335 central standard time, a Mooney M20C airplane, N1360W, owned and operated by a private owner as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Ozona, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. The flight had originated from McKinney, Texas, about 1115, on a flight to Ozona, with an intended fuel stop at Abilene, Texas.

On the enclosed NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report the pilot reported that the day before the accident he had flown the aircraft for 2.4 hours on a flight from Ozona to the Aero Country Airport at McKinney, Texas. On the day of the accident he found that there was no fuel available at the Aero Country Airport, therefore he had planned a fuel stop at Abilene, Texas, for his return flight to Ozona. During cruise flight, and "after not encountering anticipated quartering head winds," he calculated, using his Global Positioning System (GPS), that the time of flight direct to Ozona would be 2.5 hours. He then made the decision to "continue direct to Ozona."

The pilot further reported that approximately 20 miles northeast of Ozona the "engine started running rough and died, left tank gauge [left fuel tank was selected] indicated most fuel but pilot [he] switched on electric fuel pump, changed tanks and restarted engine." After terminating flight following with Houston Center and contacting "Ozona unicom for field and runway conditions and fuel situation, engine again started running rough and quit." He initiated a forced landing to a pasture, and during the landing roll, the wings impacted some "scrubby" trees.

The pilot also reported that the "past history of this engine, plane and pilot as PIC has been to burn 8 GPH low to 9.2 GPH high with multiple T/O [takeoff] and Ldgs [landings]." However, the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report shows that the airplane's engine had been overhauled 21.6 hours prior to the accident.

The pilot reported to the FAA inspector that he had "run out of fuel." The pilot further reported that he had flown the same route of flight before without refueling; however, the airplane's engine had been changed and he had not anticipated the higher fuel burn rate.

Examination of the airplane by the FAA inspector revealed structural damage to the right wing spar, and the fuselage was buckled. Examination of the airplane's fuel tanks revealed no usable fuel. The FAA inspector did not observe any evidence of a fuel spill.

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