Aircraft: Mooney M20C. Injuries: 1 Minor. Location: Allen, Okla. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was on a cross country flight with the fuel selector set to the left tank when the engine quit.
He attempted to restore fuel to the engine by switching to the right tank, which contained fuel. The pilot said he was too low to attempt an engine restart, so he elected to perform a gear-up landing in a field.
The airplane’s fuselage and right wing sustained substantial damage during the landing.
Probable cause: A total loss of engine power in flight due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot’s inadequate fuel management.
NTSB Identification: CEN11CA609
This August 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.