On November 18, 2001, about 1310 eastern standard time, a Mooney M20C, N6753U, registered to, and operated by a private individual, as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 flight, suffered a loss of engine power, while in cruise flight in the vicinity of High Springs, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The private-rated pilot and one passenger were not injured, and the aircraft incurred substantial damage. The flight originated in Alabaster, Alabama, the same day, about 0940. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that his aircraft was in cruise flight at an altitude of 7,000 feet, and he had just received a radio communications report from FAA Jacksonville Approach Control, of traffic traveling in the opposite direction, at the 12 o'clock position, and at an altitude of 6,000 feet, when all of a sudden the aircraft engine ceased operating. The pilot stated that the aircraft immediately lost about 200 feet of altitude, and he also noted that the tachometer was indicating zero rpms. The pilot further stated that he then engaged the fuel boost pump, and switched to the left fuel tank, and engine power was restored. He said he then informed Jacksonville Approach Control that he was having engine troubles, with his primary concern being to avoid the opposing traffic that he had been informed of. According to the pilot, about 10 seconds after power had been restored, the engine ceased operating again, and he again switched tanks, but the engine failed to operate a second time. He said he then requested assistance from approach control in finding a suitable airport where he could land, and in the process of searching for the airport, he ended up having to make a forced landing to a field. During the landing rollout the aircraft incurred substantial damage when it impacted a fence. The pilot later stated that to the NTSB that the reason the engine ceased operating was due to fuel exhaustion. According to the pilot, his wife, a passenger on the flight, had ordered fuel at Shelby County Airport in Alabaster, Alabama, prior to departing. The pilot further stated that prior to departing he had even visually checked the tanks, and had thought he saw full tanks, but he did not dip the tanks, and later determined that it must have been an illusion due to the reflection in the tanks, after having learned that the linesman had not placed any fuel in his aircraft, as his wife had requested.
An employee at the Shelby County Airport stated that fuel had been ordered for N6753U, but the linesman had forgotten the order, and that no fuel had been placed in the accident aircraft's fuel tanks as was requested.
An FAA Inspector who conducted a postaccident examination of the aircraft, said that during his investigation of the accident aircraft, he found no breaches to fuel system, and that all aircraft fuel tanks were "bone dry."