Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mooney M20K, N5254G, Flat Top Energy: Accident occurred December 21, 2017 at Venice Municipal Airport (KVNC), Sarasota County, Florida

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

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Flat Top Energy LLC: 

Location: Venice, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA058
Date & Time: 12/21/2017, 1900 EST
Registration: N5254G
Aircraft: MOONEY M20K
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 21, 2017, about 1900 eastern standard time, a Mooney M20K, N5254G, was substantially damaged during landing at Venice Municipal Airport (VNC), Venice, Florida. The private pilot was not injured. Night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that departed Darlington County Airport (UDG), Darlington, South Carolina. The flight was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot stated he departed Raleigh County Memorial Airport (BKW), Beckley, West Virginia, about 1200, landed at UDG for fuel, and then departed for VNC. While on approach to VNC, he descended from 8,500 ft to 4,000 ft to get under a layer of scattered clouds. He stated it was his normal procedure to extend the landing gear 10 miles from the airport. He continued the descent and disengaged the autopilot. About 1,200 ft above ground level he was "dodging clouds" and heard the pilot of a Cessna state to air traffic control (ATC) that there was sea fog in the vicinity of VNC. The pilot descended further to stay under the clouds and fog. He was then advised by ATC to climb immediately to 2,000 ft and follow the Cessna into VNC. He stated while on approach he extended the flaps and used speed brakes to slow down. He reduced the throttle and the throttle horn activated, he applied a small amount of throttle and the horn stopped. Upon landing he heard a "scrapping noise," he shut off the fuel, electrical power and exited the airplane.

Initial examination of the airplane by a mechanic revealed the landing gear circuit breaker was popped and the gear selector was in the down position. Both main gears were extended about 1-inch out of their respective wing wheel wells. The airplane was placed on jacks and the landing gear was lowered using the emergency gear extension. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector noted substantial damage on the belly stringers, the propeller, and nose gear door.

The four-seat, low-wing airplane was manufactured in 1988 and was equipped with a Continental TISO-360, 210-horsepower reciprocating engine.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He reported 216 hours of total flight experience. His most recent application for an FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on November 30, 2017.

The automated weather observing system at VNC was out of service at the time of the accident. The weather conditions reported at the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Sarasota, Florida, which was located about 21 miles north of the accident site, included wind from 280° at 4 knots, visibility 9 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 22° C, dew point 22° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: MOONEY
Registration: N5254G
Model/Series: M20K NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Timothy Coleman
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Certificate of Authorization or Waiver (COA)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSRQ, 28 ft msl
Observation Time: 2353 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 280°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  9 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: DARLINGTON, SC (UDG)
Destination: Venice, FL (VNC) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 27.073889, -82.437222 (est)

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