Preliminary Accident Reports

November 2008 Issue

September 8, 2008, Hackettstown, N.J., Mooney M20J

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1630 Eastern time during an emergency landing immediately after takeoff. The pilot, the sole occupant, was uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed. According to the pilot, all three fuel drains were activated prior to the day’s first flight. No water was observed in the fuel samples from the two wing tanks. The pilot did not capture the contents when he drained the gascolator, since it is activated from the cockpit. After two uneventful flights, the pilot pumped approximately 21 gallons of fuel from a self-service facility into the right wing tank. The pilot sampled fuel from the right tank drain, and did not observe any water. He also activated the cockpit control to drain the gascolator, but again did not capture the sample.

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