Friday, July 10, 2020

Mooney M20TN, C-GTVS: Accident occurred July 07, 2020 at Central Colorado Regional Airport (KAEJ), Buena Vista, Chaffee County, Colorado

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Buena Vista, CO
Accident Number: CEN20LA268
Date & Time: 07/07/2020, 1344 MDT
Registration: C-GTVS
Aircraft: Mooney M20TN
Injuries:1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On July 7, 2020, about 1344 mountain daylight time, a Mooney M20TN airplane, Canadian registered C-GTVS, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at the Central Colorado Regional Airport, Buena Vista, Colorado. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A witness, who was located at the airport, reported that he observed the airplane takeoff from runway 15 with no problems noted. The airplane then suddenly impacted the runway surface. A post crash fire ensued. The witness responded to the accident location to assist the pilot.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the fuselage cockpit and cabin area, and forward right wing were consumed by fire. Flight control continuity was established to all flight control surfaces. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Mooney
Registration: C-GTVS
Model/Series: M20TN No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: David Seychell
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: AEJ, 7950 ft msl
Observation Time: 1355 MDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / -3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 12000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 18 knots / 25 knots, 150°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Buena Vista, CO (AEJ)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 38.813611, -106.121389 (est)

Chaffee County Sheriff's Office
July 7, 2020

On July 7, 2020 at 1347 hrs the Chaffee County Communications Center received information of a plane that was on fire at the Buena Vista Airport.

When emergency personnel arrived they learned that a single engine aircraft was taking off and was just becoming airborne when it hit the runway causing it to burst into flames. The plane came to rest just off the runway and the pilot was able to escape on his own.

The pilot, identity unknown, was transported to HRRMC by Chaffee County EMS and was then airlifted to a regional burn center.

The FAA and NTSB were both notified and will investigate the incident.

Also assisting were the Buena Vista Police Department, Buena Vista Fire and Chaffee Fire.


  1. Density altitude calculates to 10,679 ft.

    The plane is turbo-normalized, which helps quite a bit. But it's still an elevation of 10,679 ft. as far as the wing and propeller are concerned. Any turbo pilot would be well advised to pay close attention to this accident.

    Hope the pilot comes out okay.

    1. I have a lot of time in turbocharged Mooneys. The altitude is unlikely to be anything but a contributing factor to something else that was going on. I also have experience in the backwoods of Idaho, and mountain flying is a specialization all its own. Buena Vista is nothing like a backwoods airport, but it is still muontain flying in all other respects and a pilot needs to know what to look for and expect, or be unhappily surprised. Best wishes for his recovery.

    2. Buena Vista has a number of accidents where a plane is slammed back to the ground after takeoff. It was blowing up around 30 knots at about his departure time. May have been stronger. Usually the wind is close to a 90 deg cross when it blows hard. Not a good airport to tempt fate when conditions are like that.