Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Mooney M20C Ranger, N9680M: Accident occurred April 18, 2015 near Winchester Municipal Airport (KBGF), Franklin County, Tennessee

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Winchester, TN
Accident Number: ERA15LA190
Date & Time: 04/18/2015, 1452 CDT
Registration: N9680M
Aircraft: MOONEY M20C
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aircraft loading event
Injuries: 2 Serious, 3 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 18, 2015, about 1452 central daylight time, a Mooney M20C, N9680M, impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from runway 18 at the Winchester Municipal Airport (BFG), Winchester, Tennessee. The private pilot and two passengers received minor injuries, two passengers received serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and fuselage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The airplane was privately owned and operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that after takeoff, the airplane's engine "lost power" and "put it down in a field across from the end of the runway" to avoid power lines. The pilot also stated that there were five people onboard the airplane. The airplane had four seats, and a baggage area located behind the rear seats.

A witness, who worked at the airport, stated that she watched the airplane lift off about halfway down the 5,002-ft-long runway and it did not seem it did not seem to have the proper lift. The airplane seemed to gain altitude then sink as it made a slight left turn at the end of the runway. They airplane then suddenly dropped out of sight.

Examination of the wreckage at the scene by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the airplane impacted a grass field about a 1/4mile south of the runway and came to rest on the edge of a roadway. Both propeller blades exhibited leading edge gouging and chordwise scratches. One blade exhibited aft "s" bending; the other was bent forward about mid span. Recovery personnel drained about 30 gallons of fuel from the airplane at the scene.

A postaccident examination of the engine was conducted by an FAA inspector at a secure facility. Engine crankshaft continuity was confirmed on all cylinders, valves, and accessory gears. Continuity of the valvetrain was verified through a thumb compression test. The spark plugs were removed and inspected; each displayed a light gray color. The carburetor bowl was examined and was found to be free of debris. The bowl contained fuel and about 1/2 teaspoon of water.

The 1435 recorded weather observation at BGF included wind 170 at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles with few clouds at 8000 feet, temperature 79 degrees F, dew point 57 degrees F; barometric altimeter 29.93 inches of mercury.

Review of records revealed that the airplane's basic empty weight was 1,620.8 lbs., with a maximum gross takeoff weight of 2,575 lbs., resulting in a useful load of 954.2 lbs. According to drivers' license records, the five occupants weighed a total of 1,065 lbs., which added to the weight of the fuel (180 lbs.) resulted in a gross weight that was 290.8 lbs. above the airplane's maximum gross weight, not accounting for any baggage. Review of a takeoff performance chart for the airplane revealed that for the given altitude and temperature, the airplane required about 1,700 feet to takeoff and clear a 50-ft obstacle; however, that data assumed the airplane weighed 2,575 lbs. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 31, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/16/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/25/2013
Flight Time:  63 hours (Total, all aircraft), 999999 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: MOONEY
Registration: N9680M
Model/Series: M20C
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1967
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 670016
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/25/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2575 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 9 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3031 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360
Registered Owner: Pressley, Brent, DBA Smokey Mountain Aeroplanes
Rated Power: 180
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: KBGF, 979 ft msl
Observation Time: 1935 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 358°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 8000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 14°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, 170°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Winchester, TN (BGF)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Winchester, TN (BGF)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1452 CDT
Type of Airspace: 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 979 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5002 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Serious, 2 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious, 3 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  35.167500, -86.065833 (est)


  1. Out of annual, overloaded. Accident was almost assured. Luckily no one was killed.

  2. Overloaded for sure, didn't see where occupant #5 was seated but I didn't read about an aft CG problem. I think the airplane was in annual though, it says 1/25/2015 and this accident was way back in 2015. Another worry, it says the pilot had 63 hours total time and most recent flight review in October 2013, so if that's right and subtract whatever hours he needed for his private checkride, doesn't leave many hours for proficiency in that year and a half.

  3. Put five people in a four place a/c with baggage.. you'll likely get what you deserve. Good job Captain Asshat.