On June 15, 2005, about 0635 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 177B, N177BJ, lost engine power and impacted terrain short of the runway at the Fallon Municipal Airport, Fallon, Nevada. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal local flight departed 0600. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that work was going to be done on the fuel gauges later that morning. In order for the work to be done, all the fuel had to be drained from the airplane. The pilot stated that he measured the fuel levels and decided that he had enough for a 1-hour flight, and decided to practice touch-and-go landings. The pilot made two successful touch-and-goes. On his third takeoff, about halfway down the runway, at 40-50 feet above ground level (agl), the engine lost power. The pilot stated that he prepared for an emergency landing beyond the runway. At that point, the engine regained power, and the airplane began to climb in order to turn back around towards the runway. Before completing the turn, the engine lost power again. The airplane impacted terrain about a 1/4-mile from the airport. No fuel was found in the strainer and about 1 cup of fuel was recovered from the fuel reservoir tank.

The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane.

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