Thursday, January 09, 2020

Mooney M20C, N5557Q: Fatal accident occurred December 08, 2019 in Flower Pot, Yavapai County, Arizona

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona 
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Flower Pot, AZ
Accident Number:CEN20FA034 
Date & Time: 12/08/2019, 1300 MST
Registration: N5557Q
Aircraft: Mooney M20C
Injuries:1 Fatal 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 8, 2019, about 1300 mountain standard time, a Mooney model M20C airplane, N5557Q impacted terrain about 2 nm southwest of Flower Pot, Arizona. The pilot was fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postimpact fire. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Marginal visual meteorological conditions with potential instrument conditions and mountain obscuration prevailed for the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG), Flagstaff, Arizona, at an unconfirmed time, and was destined for the Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Phoenix, Arizona.

The accident site was discovered by a rancher on the morning of December 13, 2019. There were no witnesses to the impact, but witnesses that saw the airplane on December 8, 2019 came forward once they discovered that the airplane had crashed. The witnesses were driving in a car southbound on Interstate 17 near Munds Park, Arizona, when an orange and white low-wing airplane flew over their car at low altitude. The witnesses reported that the weather conditions at that time consisted of a low ceiling but with good visibility below the clouds. The witnesses provided 3 pictures of the airplane that they had taken from their car. The pictures showed the airplane traveling in the same direction as the car close to the ground. The witnesses said they watched the airplane and it appeared to be following the road. The pictures also showed low clouds with obscuration of mountain peaks in the background of the image. The witnesses reported that about 20 minutes after taking the pictures, when they were about where the airplane was reported to have crashed, the visibility had reduced to about ¼ mile and the clouds were right on the ground. Subsequent to the witness report, preliminary radar track data for an aircraft traveling along interstate 17 on December 8, 2019 was found.

The airplane impacted the ground about 1 mile east of interstate 17 on a heading of about 60 degrees. The main wreckage came to rest about 320 ft from the initial impact point.

During the investigation it was discovered that the pilot had purchased the airplane on December 4, 2018. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Mooney
Registration: N5557Q
Model/Series: M20C No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:Unknown
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: SEZ, 4830 ft msl
Observation Time: 1955 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 1000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 160°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1800 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Flagstaff, AZ (FLG)
Destination: Phoenix, AZ (DVT)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 34.479444, -111.989167

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email 

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