The pilot stated that as part of his preflight inspection of the airplane he visually verified each fuel tank was full, and the total usable fuel capacity was 221 gallons. After takeoff, the airplane climbed to the flight planned altitude of 8,000 ft mean sea level (msl), and proceeded towards the destination airport. When the flight was near the planned refueling location of the Rockwood Municipal Airport, Rockwood, Tennessee, the pilot verified that the airplane had an adequate supply of fuel to reach the intended destination. While in contact with HSV air traffic control tower, he requested to descend to 6,000 ft msl, and was subsequently cleared to descend to 4,000 ft msl. At that time, the pilot noted HSV was to his left about 10 miles away. Shortly thereafter, while at an altitude about 3,500 ft msl, warning lights on the annunciator panel, which included a fuel pressure light, illuminated. The pilot declared an emergency with the controller, and the engine experienced a total loss of engine power. According to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the controller vectored the pilot to Epps Airpark (00AL), a private airport located in Harvest, Alabama, but the pilot was unable to locate it.
According to the pilot, after the four parachute jumpers exited the airplane, and as he maneuvered the airplane for a landing, the engine lost power. Initial efforts by the pilot to restore full power were unsuccessful, however as the pilot continued, the engine regained partial power. The pilot entered a straight approach for runway 18
On the fourth parachute drop flight of the day for the pilot and aircraft, the pilot detected a reduction in elevator control authority on takeoff. He elected to continue the takeoff and climbed to 3,500 feet agl, where he released the two parachutists. On return to the airport, he used power to control his flare, but landed hard and began a porpoise maneuver.
The pilot stated that as the aircraft descended, the engine was operating at 2000 rpm, and the selected manifold pressure was 15 in Hg, and at 8,000 feet he noticed that the engine had ceased operating. Prior to noticing that the engine had ceased operating he said everything had been normal, but as he maneuvered to land he felt he was too far down the runway to land safely, so he elected to perform a go-around.