On August 10, 2004, at 1001 central daylight time, a Bellanca BL17-30 single-engine airplane, N4700V, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Austin, Texas. The non-instrument rated private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. A flight plan was not filed for the 171-nautical mile cross-country flight that originated from the Decatur Municipal Airport (LUD) about 0840, with Austin as its intended destination.

The 700-hour pilot reported that the 300 horsepower Continental IO-520-D engine lost power as he was maneuvering the airplane to intercept the localizer course for Runway 17L at the Austin Bergstrum International Airport (AUS) near Austin, Texas. The pilot reported the engine originally responded when he activated the fuel boost pump; however, the engine lost power again after a few seconds and he was unable to restart the engine. The pilot elected to turn northbound and execute a forced landing to the "old Austin airport" (Austin-Mueller Airport), which had been closed for over 3 years at the time of the accident.

During the forced landing, the airplane landed approximately 150 feet short of the landing threshold for closed runway 35. The airplane collided with a portion of the structure supporting the approach lighting system that had been removed, collapsing the landing gear. Runway 35 was reported to be 5,006-foot long and 150-foot wide asphalt runway.

Examination of the 1967-model airplane by the FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, revealed structural damage to the right wing. Additionally, all three landing gears were found collapsed.

A detailed examination of the aircraft 92-gallon fuel system by the inspector revealed that the fuselage tank was half full, the main and auxiliary cells for the right fuel system were empty, while both the main and auxiliary cells for the left fuel system were nearly full of fuel. The pilot reported that all fuel tanks had been topped-off prior to his departure for the planned one hour and 20 minute flight to Austin.

A completed Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) was not received from the pilot.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page