On July 22, 2000, at 0830 mountain daylight time, a Mooney M20C, N6253U, made a forced landing in a field near the airport at Longmont, Colorado, when the engine lost all power. The student pilot and his passenger were not injured and the aircraft sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for this personal flight operating under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated at Jefferson County Airport, Broomfield, Colorado, at 0745. No flight plan was filed.

According to the pilot, he was conducting touch-and-go landings on runway 29 at Vance Brand Municipal Airport. At about 1,000 feet above ground level on climb out following a touch-and-go landing, the engine lost all power. The pilot said he attempted to return for landing on the opposite runway (11), and when he realized he could not make the runway he conducted an off field landing. During landing roll, the nose landing gear struck a ditch. The impact caused damage to the nose landing gear, engine firewall, and right wing.

The pilot stated that he did not change the fuel selector to the fullest tank prior to commencing the approach, and the aircraft suffered fuel starvation. Investigation verified that the fuel tank selected was empty of useable fuel.

According to the pilot's operating handbook for the aircraft:

1. The accident aircraft make and model has a total fuel capacity of 78.6 U. S. gallons, 75.6 of which is useable fuel. The fuel distribution is in two internal wing tanks that have a capacity of 39.3 gallons each. Fuel consumption is approximately 15.3 gallons per hour at 5,000 feet above mean sea level on a standard day at maximum power.

2. The preflight portion of the handbook provides guidance to the pilot to check the fuel gauges and then visually check each of the two fuel tanks for proper quantity.

3. The operations section of the handbook provides guidance to the pilot to switch the fuel tank selector to the fullest tank prior to commencing an approach.

In his report on the accident, the pilot stated he had 25 gallons of fuel on board when he departed Jefferson County Airport 45 minutes prior to the accident. The distribution of that fuel is unknown.

According to the pilot, he was issued a private pilot certificate on May 27, 2000, and his medical certificate was a first class, without limitations, issued on June 10, 1998.

Federal Aviation Administration records provided information that the pilot had a student pilot certificate issued on September 9, 1999, and that his medical certificate was pending.

In the report submitted by the pilot, he stated he had 65.3 hours of flight experience, of which, 61.4 hours was in the accident aircraft make and model. He said he had 25 hours in the previous 90 days and 15 hours in the previous 30 days, all of which was in the accident aircraft make and model.

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