The pilot was taking off in the Mooney M20 when the engine began to sputter and lose power.
He elected to reduce engine power and land on the remaining runway at the airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, however he had already retracted the landing gear.
He lowered the landing gear handle, but was not able to lock the gear into place before the airplane hit the runway and the nose gear collapsed.
Post-accident examination of the airplane found water in the left and right wing fuel tanks, as well as the engine’s carburetor.
It is likely that the loss of engine power was a result of the water contamination of the fuel system.
Probable cause: A loss of engine power due to water contamination of the fuel.
NTSB Identification: CEN16LA200
This May 2016 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.