Thursday, March 1, 2018

Mooney M20C, N2596W: Accident occurred July 29, 2017 at Clearwater Air Park (KCLW), Pinellas County, Florida

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

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Clearwater, FL
Accident Number: GAA17CA481
Date & Time: 07/29/2017, 1830 EDT
Registration: N2596W
Aircraft: MOONEY M20C
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear not configured
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot reported that he extended the landing gear while in the traffic pattern. He added that he became distracted by a helicopter that was transitioning the airport, and while on base to final approach, he mistakenly raised the landing gear. The airplane subsequently touched down with the landing gear retracted.

The fuselage sustained substantial damage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's distraction before landing by a helicopter that was transitioning to the airport and his subsequent failure to extend the landing gear before touchdown. 


Gear extension and retract sys - Not used/operated (Cause)

Personnel issues
Task monitoring/vigilance - Pilot (Cause)
Forgotten action/omission - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing gear not configured (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 58, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/05/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 400 hours (Total, all aircraft), 25 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: MOONEY
Registration: N2596W
Model/Series: M20C NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1965
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3283
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2575 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer:  LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O&VO-360 SER
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 0 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPIE, 11 ft msl
Observation Time: 2153 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 355°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2800 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 24°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots, 280°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.87 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Clearwater, FL (CLW)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Clearwater, FL (CLW)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1800 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 71 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 34
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4108 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

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:  27.973611, -82.757222 (est)

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