Sunday, December 29, 2019

Mooney M20J 201, N52840: Accident occurred December 28, 2019 near Republic Airport (KFRG), Farmingdale, Nassau County, New York

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. 

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Farmingdale, New York

N52840 LLC

Location: Farmingdale, NY
Accident Number: ERA20LA082
Date & Time: December 28, 2019, 16:15 Local
Registration: N52840
Aircraft: Mooney M20J
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 28, 2019, about 1615 eastern standard time, a Mooney M20J, N52840, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Farmingdale, New York. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane operated Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, he conducted a preflight inspection of the airplane about 1200 with no anomalies noted and departed Republic Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, New York for a flight to Francis S Gabreski Airport (FOK), Westhampton Beach, New York. He remained on the ground at FOK until about 1540, when he departed for the return flight to FRG. He stated that during approach to FRG the airport traffic pattern was congested, and air traffic control requested he enter right traffic for runway 1. The controller then asked him to extend his approach over the south shore of Long Island before turning him back to the airport. On about a 3-mile final approach to the runway, the controller asked the pilot make S turns for separation from the airplane in front of him. At an altitude of about 600 ft, the engine lost total power. The pilot responded by first switching the fuel selector from the right tank to the left tank, then tried to restart the engine before impacting terrain about ½-mile from runway 1 at FRG.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane after the accident. During the examination the inspector disconnected multiple fuel lines to check for the presence of fuel. A small amount of residual fuel was present in the fuel manifold supply and the return lines from the fuel control to the fuel pump. All other lines were absent of fuel, including the fuel supply line from the airframe to the fuel pump. The right fuel tank was visually inspected about 1 inch of fuel in the tank, the left tank was damaged during the accident and found empty.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Mooney
Registration: N52840
Model/Series: M20J 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: FRG,81 ft msl
Observation Time: 15:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C /1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 320°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Westhampton Beach, NY (FOK)
Destination: Farmingdale, NY (FRG)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 40.713054,-73.411941 (est)

A small plane crashed into a line of trees along the Southern State Parkway in Farmingdale Saturday. 

State police say it happened around 4:10 p.m. near the Southern State Parkway westbound lanes, by Exits 32-33.

According to the FAA, the Mooney M20J 201 was making its final approach to Runway 1 at Republic Airport in Farmingdale when it crashed in the woods about a mile south of the runway.

The FAA says the pilot was the sole occupant of the aircraft. State police tell News 12 that the pilot suffered only minor injuries.

The plane had taken off from Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach, according to the FAA.

Aviation experts say pilots train for this type of situation. 

"One of the things you try to do if you have to force land an aircraft is try not to hit anything or hit people or any obstructions that might hit anybody else. So, it looks like he was able to do that so that is good news,” says Dr Michael Cander.

The crash halted traffic in both directions on the parkway in the area, but lanes have since been reopened. 

Traffic along the southern state parkway was at a standstill and remained sluggish until 7 p.m when crews were able to remove the aircraft from the scene.

Remnants of the plane are being towed and brought to a yard. From there, the FAA will take over and start their investigation into the cause of the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident.

Story and video ➤

EAST FARMINGDALE, Long Island (WABC) -- A small plane crashed into the woods on Long Island.

The plane took off from Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Sheldon Way, Westhampton Beach, and crashed in East Farmingdale near Route 109 after reportedly losing power.

According to the FAA, the Mooney M20J 201 crashed as it approached to land on Runway 1 at Republic Airport around 4 p.m. Saturday. The plane crashed approximately one mile south of the runway.

Only the pilot was on board the plane at the time - he suffered minor injuries, and is expected to be okay.

The FAA and NTSB are working to determine the cause of the crash.

Part of the Southern State Parkway is shut down due to emergency vehicles.

Story and video ➤


  1. unusual approach flight / pattern altitude.

    t 03:52:03 PM 40.7651 -73.1402 ← 252° 137 158 4,200 Level
    Sat 03:52:19 PM 40.7621 -73.1520 ← 251° 130 150 4,300 188 Climbing
    Sat 03:52:35 PM 40.7590 -73.1646 ← 252° 127 146 4,300 -563 Descending
    Sat 03:52:51 PM 40.7564 -73.1753 ← 254° 137 158 4,000 -1,667 Descending
    Sat 03:53:11 PM 40.7521 -73.1953 ← 255° 159 183 3,300 -1,833 Descending
    Sat 03:53:27 PM 40.7488 -73.2102 ← 252° 166 191 2,900 -1,600 Descending
    Sat 03:53:56 PM 40.7424 -73.2385 ← 261° 164 189 2,100 -1,729 Descending
    Sat 03:54:26 PM 40.7406 -73.2677 ← 266° 169 194 1,200 -1,412 Descending
    Sat 03:54:47 PM 40.7392 -73.2886 ← 264° 154 177 900 -474 Descending
    Sat 03:55:04 PM 40.7379 -73.3031 ← 263° 140 161 900 Level
    Sat 03:55:20 PM 40.7366 -73.3165 ← 263° 128 147 900 Level
    Sat 03:55:36 PM 40.7358 -73.3296 ← 266° 123 142 900 Level
    Sat 03:55:53 PM 40.7351 -73.3409 ← 266° 117 135 900 Level
    Sat 03:56:09 PM 40.7346 -73.3521 ← 267° 113 130 900 Level
    Sat 03:56:25 PM 40.7340 -73.3628 ← 260° 110 127 900 Level
    Sat 03:56:41 PM 40.7291 -73.3715 ↙ 211° 114 131 900 Level
    Sat 03:56:57 PM 40.7198 -73.3730 ↓ 180° 115 132 900 Level
    Sat 03:57:13 PM 40.7119 -73.3721 ↓ 173° 116 133 900 Level
    Sat 03:57:29 PM 40.7043 -73.3706 ↓ 172° 115 132 900 Level
    Sat 03:57:45 PM 40.6951 -73.3690 ↓173° 115 132 900 Level
    Sat 03:58:01 PM 40.6869 -73.3674 ↓ 172° 115 132 900 Level
    Sat 03:58:17 PM 40.6785 -73.3659 ↓ 173° 116 133 900 Level
    Sat 03:58:34 PM 40.6693 -73.3643 ↓ 173° 115 132 900 Level
    Sat 03:58:52 PM 40.6595 -73.3627 ↓ 173° 115 132 900 Level
    Sat 03:59:22 PM 40.6439 -73.3602 ↓ 174° 114 131 900 Level
    Sat 03:59:40 PM 40.6347 -73.3629 ↙ 216° 107 123 900 Level
    Sat 03:59:56 PM 40.6309 -73.3713 ← 257° 103 119 900 Level
    Sat 04:00:15 PM 40.6297 -73.3827 ← 265° 107 123 900 Level
    Sat 04:00:32 PM 40.6308 -73.3936 ← 296° 105 121 900 Level
    Sat 04:00:48 PM 40.6367 -73.3999 ↑ 341° 105 121 900 Level
    Sat 04:01:04 PM 40.6441 -73.4017 ↑ 348° 109 125 900 Level
    Sat 04:01:24 PM 40.6537 -73.4047 ↑ 347° 109 125 900 Level
    Sat 04:01:41 PM 40.6624 -73.4073 ↑ 347° 107 123 900 Level
    Sat 04:01:57 PM 40.6699 -73.4094 ↑ 349° 98 113 900 -188 Descending
    Sat 04:02:13 PM 40.6768 -73.4112 ↑ 349° 96 110 800 -563 Descending
    Sat 04:02:29 PM 40.6836 -73.4133 ↑ 347° 97 112 600 -750 Descending
    Sat 04:03:46 PM Arrival (KFRG) @ Saturday 04:03:46 PM EST

  2. This one is a head scratcher. Descends rapidly in excess of 1,700FPM then levels out for 7 minutes and lands short of the runway?

  3. Seems to have dropped straight in. No apparant damage to the trees around the airplane. The strong steel cage of the Mooney fuselage saves another one. Very lucky.

  4. How do you go through trees and still have wings on the airplane? He couldn't have fallen straight down from tree top height or he would be badly injured/dead. The plane would stand it but the pilot wouldn't.

  5. "There are six classifications of airspace in the United States; A, B, C, D, E, and G. Class A is the most restrictive and Class G the least restrictive. They can be categorized as:
    Class A – 18,000 feet and higher above mean sea level (MSL).
    Class B – Airspace around the 40 most congested airports in the country. Because Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark are so close, the Class B airspace for the three airports overlaps. Class B airspace is often described as an upside‐down wedding cake (see accompanying picture). The top of the airspace is 7,000 feet above sea level for New York’s Class B. The bottom ranges from 0 feet near the airports, to generally 1,500 feet in the middle ring, to generally 3,000 feet in the outer ring. Republic has a “cut‐ out” in the outer ring to 4,000 feet. The sizes and elevations of the rings vary at each airport. There are many restrictions on flying in the Class B airspace and many rules that must be followed.
    Class C – Airspace around commercial airports that are less congested than the Class B airports. MacArthur Airport has Class C airspace. Class C typically has two rings, one from the ground to 4,000 feet above ground level (AGL) and above the airport and the outer ring from 1,500 feet to 4,000 feet above the airport. Class C has less stringent rules than Class B.
    Class D – Airspace around other towered airports. One ring, usually 10 miles in diameter from the ground to 2,500 feet above the airport. This is the airspace around Republic Airport when the tower is open. Class D requires communication with the tower but generally has no other rules for flight.
    Class E – Most of the airspace when you are not near towered airports or when the tower is closed. Republic’s airspace is Class E overnight when the tower is closed. MacArthur is the same way.
    Class G – Airspace in select areas below either 700 feet or 1,200 feet above the ground in the New York area."

  6. "How do you go through trees and still have wings on the airplane?"

    Very little forward velocity and pointing the nose between trees on the way down and luck. It can happen, and it does. And it apparently did here.

  7. BTW I do see a bent up left wing about 1/3 the span. So either that hit a tree or it hit the ground nose down. We'll see what investigators conclude.

  8. May have rotated to heading tail first in the final moments of ground sliding. By the time the wreck removal crew had it loaded up, the whole tail section was sawed off behind the numbers, left wing removed.
    See the drag-out 1:15 in video: