The pilot reported that, before departure, he conducted an engine run-up, and everything was in the normal operating range. He departed, and, shortly after takeoff, the engine lost power.
During the forced landing in Lonoke County, Arkansas, the Mooney M20C hit trees and came to rest on its belly.
Examination of the airplane revealed that no fuel was visible in the right fuel tank and that about 1/2 inch of fuel was visible in the left fuel tank. The carburetor’s float bowl was empty of fuel.
The carburetor heat and mixture control cables were broken, and they were not attached to their respective points. The end of the mixture control cable was found wrapped around the attachment’s bolt to connect it to the mixture control arm.
The mixture control arm was removed from the carburetor; the spring under the control arm appeared intact.
The cable’s break, located under the bolt head, had both a dull and a shiny section, indicating that it may have been partially fractured for some time.
A broken mixture control cable or an inadequate fuel supply can cause a loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.
NTSB Identification: CEN15LA112
This January 2015 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.