Problem With Craftsman Rider

My neighbor has a 6-year old rider with a Kohler engine, he says.
This year, unlike previous years, he finds that as he cuts his
half-acre, the engine wants to cut out. He suspects gas flow because
he can view the tubing going from the tank to the filter, thence to
the carburetor. He says when it happens, the filter bowl and the
transparent line are almost empty implying some kind of blockage. The
strange thing is - if he turns the motor off, and then lowers the
filter and its connecting lines as low as he can inside the mower
housing, the filter bowl will fill up quickly, and the mower then runs
fine again (for a while anyway). If he does the same thing with the
motor running, the filter bowl does not fill up, and his problem
persists. The inlet to the carburetor is below the outlet of the gas
He has tried running the mower without a gas cap, and the same thing
happens. He has replaced the filter twice with no improvement. He
has blown air through the tubings. Anyone have any ideas what the
problem might be?
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I'd suspect blockage in the carburetor. Seems to me there is a mesh screen at the carb's intake. I'd check that and maybe consider getting a carb rebuild kit.
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