Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mooney M20E, N9265M: Accident occurred May 15, 2017 at W. K. Kellogg Airport (KBTL), Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Michigan

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N9265M

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA184
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 15, 2017 in Dowling, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/2017
Aircraft: MOONEY M20E, registration: N9265M
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot stated that, during the flight, the airspeed indicator displayed a lower than normal airspeed. The pilot landed the airplane at an intermediate airport to drop off a passenger, then continued to his home airport, a privately-owned, 2,000-ft-long turf runway. During the first attempted landing, the airplane would not “settle,” and the pilot initiated a go-around. During the second landing, the airplane floated again, consistent with a higher-than-indicated airspeed, and the pilot "forced" the airplane onto the runway. The airplane porpoised and continued off the runway, hitting trees, a fence, and a pole, resulting in substantial damage. During postaccident examination, the remains of an insect were found in the pitot tube. A functional test of the airspeed indicator revealed no anomalies. It is likely that the inaccurate airspeed indications were due to the contamination of the pitot static system, which subsequently resulted in a high approach and landing speed and subsequent runway overrun.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
Innacurate airspeed indications due to contamination of the pitot-static system with insect remains, which resulted in a high approach and landing speed and subsequent runway overrun.


On May 15, 2017, about 1330 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20E airplane, N9265M, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees, a fence, and a pole, while landing at a private grass airstrip near Dowling, Michigan. The private pilot was not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed W K Kellogg Airport (BTL), Battle Creek, Michigan, and was en route to the private airstrip.

According to the pilot, during the flight the airspeed indicator did not indicate as high as it normally would. He landed uneventfully at BTL to drop off a passenger and then continued to the private airstrip (2,000 feet by 120 feet, grass) for a full-stop landing. While on final approach, the pilot decreased airspeed to 70 miles per hour (mph); however, the airplane would not settle so he initiated a go around. During the second attempt to land, the pilot decreased airspeed to 60 mph, but the airplane still would not land. The pilot stated that he "forced" the airplane to land.

During touchdown the airplane porpoised and continued off of the runway hitting trees, a fence, and a pole. According to the Federal Aviation Administration inspectors who responded to the accident, the left main landing gear and nose gear collapsed. The right wing sustained substantial impact damage to the leading edge and the spar. The pitot tube separated from the airplane and could not be functionally tested.

During the examination of the pitot static system debris was recovered from the pitot tube that appeared organic in nature, consistent with the remains of an insect. A functional test of the airspeed indicator revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA184
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 15, 2017 in Dowling, MI
Aircraft: MOONEY M20E, registration: N9265M
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 15, 2017, about 1330 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20E airplane, N9265M, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees, a fence, and a telephone pole, while landing at a private grass airstrip near Dowling, Michigan. The private pilot was not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed W K Kellogg Airport (BTL), Battle Creek, Michigan, and was en route to the private airstrip.

According to the pilot, the airspeed indicator was not indicating as high as it normally does during flight. He landed at BTL to drop off a passenger and then continued to the private airstrip to land. While on final approach for landing, the pilot decreased his airspeed to 70 miles per hour; however, the airplane would not settle so he initiated a go around. During the second attempt to land, the pilot decreased his airspeed to 60 miles per hour and continued to have issues with the airplane settling to land so he "forced" the airplane to land. During the landing the airplane porpoised and continued off of the runway hitting trees, a fence, and a telephone pole.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration inspector who responded to the accident, the left main landing gear and nose gear collapsed. The right wing sustained substantial impact damage to the leading edge and the spar.

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