Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Mooney M20B Mark 21, N74786: Accident occurred March 24, 2021 in Animas, Hidalgo County, New Mexico

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; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Location: Animas, NM 
Accident Number: WPR21LA141
Date & Time: March 24, 2021, 01:30 Local 
Registration: N74786
Aircraft: Mooney M20B 
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On March 24, 2021, 0130 mountain standard time, a Mooney M20B, N74786, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Animas, New Mexico. The pilot and passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 crosscountry personal flight.

The pilot had filed an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight plan for a flight from Fort Stockton-Pecos County Airport (FST), Fort Stockton, Texas, to Tucson International Airport (TUS), Tucson, Arizona. During the flight, the pilot reported a loss of engine power and that they were experiencing light rime ice. The airplane became the subject of an Alert Notice (ALNOT) when Albuquerque Center lost communication with the pilot and the airplane dropped off radar.

According to responding Law Enforcement, the airplane came to rest in mountainous terrain at an elevation of about 5,010 ft mean sea level about a mile northwest of Pinkey Wright Mountains.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Mooney
Registration: N74786
Model/Series: M20B 
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: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDMN,4301 ft msl 
Observation Time: 01:29 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 38 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C /2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 13 knots / 20 knots, 280°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 9 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.8 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 32.063,-108.422 (est)

FULSHEAR, Texas (KTRK) -- Two off-duty Fulshear Police officers were injured when their small plane crashed into a mountain in New Mexico and they remain in critical condition.

Police say Adam Schoof and Dillon Rice were in a small plane heading to California when they ran into trouble near Lordsburg, New Mexico Wednesday morning.

During a Facebook live stream hosted by the Fulshear Katy Area Chamber Commerce on Friday, Capt. Mike McCoy with the Fulshear Police Department issued an update on the officers' conditions.

"They are in really bad shape," said McCoy.

McCoy said Schoof has a private pilot's license and was flying the plane at the time of the crash.

"[Schoof] normally pilots as a hobby. But he normally pilots on his off time to take passengers who can't afford flights to area hospitals. He volunteers his own time to do that," McCoy said of Schoof.

It took rescuers nearly four hours to find the wreckage and stabilize the two officers. Schoof and Rice were eventually taken to a hospital in El Paso, where they remain in serious, but stable condition.

McCoy said Schoof is married with a daughter. His good friend, Rice, has a girlfriend.

"I love these guys, they're family. I really love them," McCoy said. "These two guys are just good hearts."

On Friday, the Schoof family issued their own statement regarding the officer's condition.

"Adam was critically injured in a plane accident on Wednesday morning. The Schoof Family extends our most heartfelt gratitude to God our Father for the life of our son, husband, and father, Michael Adam Schoof, and his friend and partner Dillon Rice. Adam and Dillon were in a small engine aircraft accident on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. We extend our thankfulness to the first responder teams whose coordinated efforts resulted in Adam and Dillon's critical and timely rescue, albeit in a remote area of New Mexico.

We thank the Fulshear Police Department, the City of Fulshear, Sugar Creek Baptist Church, and the outpouring of love and support Adam and our family has received from so many friends in our community.

In His faith and confidence,
The Schoof Family"

At last check, both officers were undergoing surgery and will remain in the hospital in El Paso for some time.

If you would like to help, you can donate to their recovery effort through the Fulshear Police Foundation.

Officer Adam Schoof

LORDSBURG, New Mexico – U.S. Border Patrol agents assist New Mexico State Police (NMSP) in locating a downed aircraft and rescuing a pilot and one passenger.

On March 24, 2021 at approximately 0145 MST, New Mexico State Police requested the assistance from Lordsburg Border Patrol Station in the search and rescue of a downed fixed-wing single engine aircraft in the southern end of the Pyramid Mountains.

Lordsburg Station immediately dispatched Border Patrol Agents along with a certified Emergency Medical Technician. Agents were equipped with All-Terrain Vehicles, Utility Terrain Vehicles and night vision equipment.

After an extensive search, Lordsburg agents were able to locate a pilot and passenger at the coordinates provided by NMSP. Both subjects were off-duty police officers with the Fulshear Police Department in Fulshear, Texas.

The pilot was injured but conscious and lying outside of the aircraft. The passenger, although conscious, appeared to have suffered injuries and required extraction from the aircraft by agents. Injuries to both victims included lacerations throughout their bodies, a broken leg and one of the victims was reportedly going into shock.

After over four hours on the ground, feverishly conducting life-saving efforts, agents transported both subjects over harsh terrain to awaiting emergency medical services from Hidalgo County. Both subjects were transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“I would like to recognize the hard-working Lordsburg Agents that participated in the rescue of the pilot and passenger of the airplane. If it wasn’t for their efforts, these two victims could have perished in the aftermath of the crash,” said El Paso Sector Chief - 2 - Gloria I. Chavez. “It goes to show how, in addition to securing our Nation’s borders, our agents are committed to assisting other agencies when called to action to save human lives.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is the lead investigative agency. Any questions related to the investigation should be directed to Peter C. Knudson ( with NTSB media relations.

Officer Dillon Rice


Officer Adam Schoof & Dillon Rice

On Wednesday, March 24, 2021 New Mexico State Police along with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) have confirmed that two of Fulshear's police officers, Adam Schoof and Dillon Rice, were involved in a plane crash in New Mexico. 

Miraculously, both officers survived the crash, however the extent of their injuries are severe. This accident was not duty-related.

Adam was the pilot of the aircraft with a sole passenger, Dillon. Officer Adam Schoof is a pilot and flies during his time off for recreation, and also volunteers his time to transport patients that cannot afford to be flown to hospitals for treatment. 

Fulshear's City Manager and Police Chief Kenny Seymour have travelled to the area hospital to assist the officers and their families. 

We ask that you keep Adam and Dillon, their families, friends and co-workers, in your thoughts and prayers.

Donations are being managed and processed by the Fulshear Police Foundation on behalf Officers Schoof and Rice. 

100% of donations made to the Fulshear Police Foundation until April 30, 2021 will be dedicated to these two officers of the Fulshear Police Department. 

FULSHEAR, Texas – Two Fulshear officers are recovering after a plane crash in Lordsburg, New Mexico.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the plane crash that happened on Wednesday.

Fulshear Police Department posted on its social media accounts that two officers, Adam Schoof and Dilon Rice, were severely injured in the crash.

According to the department, Schoof, the pilot, flies during his off time for recreation and also volunteers his time to fly patients to hospitals. This accident, the department says, was not duty-related.

Officials said Schoof and Rice were the only passengers on board the aircraft at the time of the crash.

The Fulshear Police Foundation set up a benefit fund for the two officers.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.


  1. Night flight, track and altitude changes suggest maneuvering to get around weather in vicinity of crash.

    1. NEXRAD Tuscon Radar Archive Snapshots:

      24 Mar 0558Z:

      24 Mar 0642Z: snapshot 0615Z:

      The selection page for the most recent six days of NEXRAD archive is linked below. Select a day, select end time in Z, then click the station on the map.

  2. Albuquerque Sector 46 conversation with the pilot was captured extensively on Pilot cannot be heard, but you can hear atc working with 786 until about the last minute of flight as he was diverting to Lordsburg airport (KLSB).

    After the 11 minute point, atc is advising 786 that he can vector him north, gives "290". Then "descend and maintain 9000" and "let me know how it is when you get down there".

    Then, "descend and maintain 7,700", later gives Lordsburg airport runway info after about the 18 minute mark, followed by "Lordsburg is 005 heading now and about 15 miles". A minute or so after that, the controller says something to someone else about 786 "lost data on him" (garbled) "quick" or "quit" "about 15 miles south of Lordsburg airport".

    Direct linking to files is against their terms of use, so just go to the main page, select KTUS and under "ZAB Sector 46 (Tucson Low)", pick 24 March and 0600-0630Z to reach file ending in ktus/ZAB46-Mar-24-2021-0600Z.mp3

    1. In the earlier 0530-0600 segment, the Sector 46 controller is heard after the 20 minute point responding to 786 with weather info, then climb and maintain 12,000.

      After the 24 minute mark, atc asks 786 if he has oxygen on the aircraft, saying that he needed to get higher, like 13 or 14. Later, atc gives the pilot "a block of one two thousand to one four thousand".

      Playback timing changes when you go back and forth in some players, so time marks of noted transmissions are not exact.

  3. Remarkable to have managed a night time off airport landing with only minor injuries.

  4. That's way down in SW NM, I'm in NW NM and we had snow all night. Maybe icing?

    1. Heard controller on LiveAtc telling pilot to watch out for possible ice at 12,000 feet as he had him start increasing altitude at 0550Z.

  5. straight line distance from last ADS-B @ 32.0449 -108.7489 Distance To KLSB @ 32.3334639 -108.6917389 is a calculate Distance Straight line distance: 37.19 miles , 59.86 kilometers (km) , 196388 feet , 59859 meters

    1. Google mapping that last point and measuring distance shows 20 miles to the Lordsburg airport.

    2. Was at 14,700 feet and 20 statute miles from completing his divert to Lordsburg's 4,300' elevation airport, ended up amongst the pyramid volcanic mountains which at the highest peak is 6000' elevation.

      Will be interesting to learn of the descent profile he was on after that last ADS-B data point.

    3. straight line distance between two GPS point @

  6. Not many dark night off airport landings have this type of outcome. Happy to see no critical injuries.

  7. Cabin intact! Very lucky man. I would *not* have wanted to find a forced landing spot in pitch black conditions where there are no ground light references.

  8. Very fortunate outcome. Yet this also speaks to the tremendous value of keeping an airplane flying and under control. Where the plane remains flying and level then some hope remains. Stall the airplane or otherwise get the airplane into a dive and all hope is lost.

    So a superb job on the pilot's part keeping the plane flying and level. And then no small amount of luck also helped save the day. A terrific outcome.

  9. Airmen registry has one Adam Schoof, by middle name, address opt out.
    The difference in medical date and most recent certificate date may represent earning his instrument rating in 2020, or an address change.

    Medical Class: First Medical Date: 9/2018
    Certificate: PRIVATE PILOT
    Date of Issue: 11/25/2020

    Certificate: REMOTE PILOT
    Date of Issue: 2/25/2021

  10. Accident could turn out to be inadvertent CFIT under power.

    They were diverting to Lordsburg. KLSB has no published instrument procedures. NEXRAD weather snapshots before and after the landing show that the LSB identifier label location was clearly "in the weather".

    Archive NEXRAD snapshots linked below also provide velocity data by clicking the image:

    24 Mar 0558Z:

    24 Mar 0642Z:

    1. Agreed, and if so, that was an amazing outcome and that airplane's structure also deserves real respect for being able to deal with that kind of impact, even at that angle, with everyone coming out alive.

  11. I was planing a flight from Cruces to Flagstaff that same day but cancelled due to the winter storm and icing conditions. My plane is much more capable that theirs. As soon as I heard about the crash I thought who in their right mind would do this flight in a plane without flight into known icing conditions.

  12. This is the problem with an instrument rating, isn't it? On the one hand a pilot should have the skills, on the other it induces many IR holders to fly in conditions they shouldn't - with tragic results.
    Further, during IR training and check ride, there's someone competent sitting next to you to hold your hand, giving you a false sense of competency. Get up there by yourself in hard IFR and it's a whole 'nother story.
    No easy answer for this conundrum.

  13. Flight track included 10 hour delay in Texas that occurred after only 20 minutes of flight that started out from the Wharton home base airport just before 8 AM. One news report gave California as the trip destination.

    "Making up for lost time" could have contributed to poor ADM if the delay was not a pre-planned activity.

  14. If you listen to the ATC recording the controller says to 786 "Did you say that your engine just quit?" and then later he asks another plane to try to contact 786 and repeats "says his engine quit about 15 miles south of Lordsburg". It is all between the 18 and 23 minute marks.

    1. Thanks! Had trouble understanding what the controller said when I originally posted "A minute or so after that, the controller says something to someone else about 786 "lost data on him" (garbled) "quick" or "quit" "about 15 miles south of Lordsburg airport".

      Had expected someone with headphones to figure it all out. Gold star for you!

  15. Happier days for pilot and N74786:

    1. Lots of videos in his user name, some were about cost of ownership, but could not tell if he had bought the Mooney or was leasing it.

  16. Approaching WX at night in a single engine aircraft with no radar or de icing equipment. Turn around and return to airspace with no WX and land. To do anything else is negligence and asking to become a statistic.

    1. I agree. His decision was foolish. He was warned by ATC of the thunderstorms in the area, but chose to continue anyway.
      After a long day that started at 7:43am, and ended at 12:30am the next day I'm sure he was tired. Poor training, and poor airmanship. Pull this guys license . He shouldn't be flying at all!

    2. Couldn't go back to El Paso due to weather closing behind him, couldn't escape South because of being up against Mexican airspace.

      A contributor is misguided belief that he would find a path and "thread" a gap in the weather using cockpit weather display. Grew up with video games, weather display is just another form of game quest.

      Easy to think you will "beat the level" with your gadget, not inclined to withdraw and try again in the morning.

    3. "Mexican airspace". That is a joke. I've heard it many times over the years when circumventing huge lines of WX in the Southwest. The only wall in the sky is the line of WX and not some iron or concrete fixture that is insurmountable. If ATC says "that's Mexican airspace..." You say "then pic up your phone and tell them I'm coming", OR let ATC know you are going to declare an Emergency and the narative of the report will include ATC's unwillingness to work the a sector right next to their own.

    4. Weather radar didn't look any better for a divert to the south vs. trying to go back to El Paso. But if they could have made it to MMCG, "Aeropuerto de Nuevo Casas Grandes" in Chihuahua, the famous Pancho Villa’s house and museum would have been a must see.

      The engine out or fuel exhaustion outcome on that divert track probably wouldn't have been an improvement over the Pyramid Mountain rescue experience.

  17. 99.9% chance that any engine that quits within proximity to landing airport is fuel exhaustion.

    1. Distance to Lordsburg wasn't any further than the prior Victoria to Stockton leg, but he certainly could have lost focus and run the selected tank dry while busy threading the weather.

  18. FulshearPoliceFoundation Facebook post March 31 stated:

    "Today, Officer Rice has been discharged and is traveling by ambulance back home from El Paso to the Houston area. He sustained several injuries, including broken bones and lacerations. However, he is alert and slowly recovering.

    Officer Schoof is still in the hospital as he received the more serious of the injuries. Adam is undergoing more surgeries as this post is written. Adam is in good spirits and is very positive about his recovery. Adam is expected to be in ICU for a few more days and then moved to a regular bed. Hopefully in a week or two, he will be well enough to be brought back home."

    Long road ahead to make a full recovery.

  19. Preliminary is out, not much detail.