Aircraft: Mooney M20C. Injuries: 3 Fatal. Location: Grace, Idaho. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: A review of the private pilot’s logbook showed the last entry on April 28, 2011, where he logged three flights that day for a total of 1.3 hours. The logbook indicated that as of that date, the pilot’s total flight time was 563 hours, with 303 hours in the Mooney.
The accident happened during an attempt to land. According to witnesses on the ground, the airplane made a slight right turn, followed by a left bank turn toward the runway. The left bank increased to about 45°, then the plane appeared to drop to the ground.
Data extracted from the on-board GPS unit indicated that the pilot overshot the extended runway centerline while on the base leg, then made a tight left turn back toward the centerline.
The post-accident examination of the engine, airframe, and related systems revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control while maneuvering in the traffic pattern, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.
NTSB Identification: WPR11FA335This July 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.