Monday, November 08, 2021

Mooney M20F Executive 21, N3284F: Fatal accident occurred November 08, 2021 in Villa Rica, Paulding County, Georgia

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 traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Location: Villa Rica, Georgia
Accident Number: ERA22FA050
Date and Time: November 8, 2021, 12:57 Local
Registration: N3284F
Aircraft: Mooney M20F
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On November 8, 2021, at 1257 eastern standard time, a Mooney M20F, N3284F, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Villa Rica, Georgia. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to a friend of the pilot who saw him prior to departure, the purpose of the flight was to “warm up the oil” because they were going to change the engine oil and check the cylinders compression in preparation for an upcoming annual inspection. He watched the airplane depart the traffic pattern area and did not hear any distress calls on the airport common traffic advisory frequency around the time of the accident.

According to preliminary automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane departed Earl L. Small Jr. Field/Stockmar Airport (20GA), Villa Rica, Georgia, at 1253:49. About 1254:50, the airplane departed the airport traffic pattern area and flew about 2 miles north on a 360° heading, until 1256:25. Then, the airplane flew west on a 273° heading for about 1 mile, entered a spiraling left descent, and impacted a wooded area about 3.3 miles from the airport at 1257:23. In the final 10 seconds of the accident flight, the airplane’s ground speed decreased from 62 knots to 45 knots, then increased to 62 knots, before decreasing to 43 knots, and finally the airspeed increased to 84 knots before the track data was lost. The last ADS-B return was about 80 ft from the accident site.

The airplane came to rest in a heavily wooded area, at an elevation of 1,020 ft, upright, and in a level attitude on a 240° heading. All major components of the airplane were located in the vicinity of the main wreckage. There were multiple trees near the main wreckage that did not exhibit any impact damage. There was no odor of fuel at the accident site.

The fuselage remained intact and was impact crushed. Flight control continuity was established from all flight control surfaces to the flight controls in the cockpit. The empennage remained attached to the fuselage and was twisted to the left. The horizontal stabilizers and elevators exhibited a small amount of wrinkling damage. The rudder and vertical stabilizer remained attached to the empennage. The vertical stabilizer was wrinkled. The wings remained attached to the fuselage and both fuel tanks were breached. Both flaps were in an extended flap position.

The engine remained attached to the airframe and was removed to facilitate further examination. Crankshaft and valvetrain continuity were confirmed when the crankshaft was rotated through 360° of motion. Thumb compression and suction was attained on all cylinders. Fuel was noted in the fuel lines, fuel servo, fuel pump, and fuel manifold on the engine. The fuel injectors were removed and none of them were obstructed. The spark plugs were removed and all exhibited severe wear and were light grey in color. The magnetos were removed and sparked on all towers. The oil filter was removed, disassembled, and no debris was noted in the filter.

The propeller remained attached to the engine and was removed to facilitate examination. Both propeller blades remained attached to the hub. One propeller blade exhibited bending at the tip. The second propeller blade was curled, the tip was torn off, and the blade exhibited chordwise scratching. In addition, a root in the ground was cut at a 45° angle near the second propeller blade.

A Garmin 396 GPS and a JPI 700 engine data monitor were retained for data download.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Mooney 
Registration: N3284F
Model/Series: M20F 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
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: PUJ,1290 ft msl 
Observation Time: 12:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C /0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 130°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.29 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Villa Rica, GA 
Destination: Villa Rica, GA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 33.798939,-84.911753 

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

PAULDING COUNTY, Georgia – Paulding Deputies responded to a fatal plane crash in southern Paulding County off of Georgian Parkway yesterday afternoon.

At approximately 12:59 PM on Monday November 8, 2021 Paulding E-911 received a phone call from a complainant who indicated that they observed a small single-engine plane “sputtering” and then “spiraling downward” toward a wooded area near The Georgian subdivision.

Paulding Deputies, along with Paulding Fire and MetroAtlanta Ambulance personnel, responded to the scene where they eventually located the small plane approximately 25 yards into a wooded area off of Georgian Parkway. The plane was situated near a creek adjacent to Georgian Parkway in between Hanover Drive and Stafford Lane.

Due to the extreme impact, Deputies and Fire/EMS personnel were unable to save the pilot who was eventually pronounced deceased by the Paulding County Coroner’s Office.

The pilot, later identified as Raymond K. Hicks (W/M, 67 YOA) of Villa Rica, GA, was flying his 1967 Mooney M20F fixed wing single-engine plane displaying tail number N3284F. Preliminary information reveals that the flight originated out of Earl L. Small, Jr. Field / Stockmar Airport in Villa Rica, GA (Carroll County).

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are conducting the investigation into why the plane crashed. If you have any information about this crash or would like more information, please feel free to contact the NTSB or the FAA.

PAULDING COUNTY, Georgia — A pilot is dead after a plane crashed in a wooded area of Paulding County, the sheriff's office said. 

A plane crashed near Georgian Parkway and Hanover Drive near Vila Rica around 1 p.m., according to Sgt. Ashley Henson. The plane has been identified as a Mooney M20F Executive 21 by the FAA.

The pilot was the only person on board, Henson said. The pilot has been identified as 67-year-old Raymond K. Hicks. There were no injuries on the ground.

Details concerning the crash are still forthcoming and the National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation. 

In a newly released 911 call, the caller mentions hearing a loud sound from when the crash happened. 

"I don't see any smoke, but it made a heck of a noise," the caller said. 

Caller: I'm sure something really bad going on.

Dispatch: Do you know if it went down in the woods, can you help me out any more with location.?

Caller: It made quite a noise. Like hitting trees or something.

The caller describes the direction the plane was traveling and dispatch tries to locate the wreckage. He also mentioned the plane stalling before going facedown and spiraling toward the ground. 

The Paulding County plane crash is the third in the area within four days.

A single-engine Cessna 172 declared an emergency after leaving the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport on November 4. The plane ultimately landed on North Decatur Road southeast of the airport. The pilot survived. 

A pilot of a small plane was killed in a crash near Rock Hill on Friday, November 5. The plane crashed behind the American Legion Post on Heckle Boulevard.

One person is dead after a single-engine plane crashed into a wooded area in Paulding County, Georgia, authorities say.

The incident was reported just before 1 p.m. Monday, November 8, according to the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office.

“The 911 caller indicated that they saw an airplane spinning and sputtering and looked as if it was going down,” public information officer Sgt. Ashley Henson told McClatchy News on the phone.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft, a Mooney M20F, went down near Earl L. Small Jr. Field / Stockmar Airport around 12:30 p.m. Emergency crews located the plane near Georgian Parkway between Stafford Drive and Hanover Drive in the southern part of the county, Henson said.

The pilot, who was the only person on board, died in the crash, according to authorities.

No other injuries were reported. 

Paulding County is about 35 miles northwest of Atlanta.

A pilot was killed when his single-engine plane crashed in a wooded area in Paulding County, the sheriff’s office said Monday.

The crash happened near The Georgian community, located off Georgia State Route 61 near Villa Rica. 

The pilot, whose name was not released, was the only one aboard the plane, sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Ashley Henson said. No injuries were reported on the ground.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Mooney M20F Executive 21 crashed around 12:30 p.m. 

The aircraft registration number was not immediately released.

PAULDING COUNTY, Georgia — The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office said a small plane crashed into the woods in New Georgia Monday.

Deputies said the single-engine plane crashed off of Georgian Parkway around 1 p.m. No one on the ground was injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was a Mooney M20F Executive 21 and that there was only one person on board. That person’s condition and identity have not been released.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane crashed near Earl L. Small Jr. Field/Stockmar Airport in Villa Rica, though it is unclear if the pilot was taking off or landing from there.

Investigators are working to verify the registration number of the plane. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.

Deputies asked people to avoid Georgian Parkway between Stafford Lane and Hanover Drive.

NewsChopper 2 is headed to the scene to gather more details, for Channel 2 Action News starting at 4 p.m.


  1. Here is the ADS-B track.

    1. Additional ADS-B resources:

      Zoomed in:

  2. Looks like he flat stall-spun in. Zero forward velocity impact in the trees and pancaked compression damage. RIP. That crash sound is harrowing.

    1. I need some help. I'm not a pilot, don't fly. I was under the impression that a small plane will glide like a glider.

      Do you have to maintain a certain speed to keep the plane in the air?

      Will it only glide if it stays above what is the stall speed? Say it stalls at 70 mph. If the motor fails and it falls below that speed even though it is in level flight will the plane dive off to the right or left like a typical stall accident?

      Any help would be appreciated.

    2. You are taught emergency power off landings in your training. yes there is an optimal glide speed for the plane and at/around that speed it will glide. Too slow of course and the plane will encounter an aerodynamic stall and drop like a rock.

      My instructor planted in my head that if the plane loses power then land it. Don't continue to pull back on the yoke and try to save altitude (which may lead to a stall!).

  3. Interesting that ADSB shows altitude rather steady at the end (around 1900 feet) but the airspeed dropping off....indicate perhaps the pilot wasn't trying/refused to make an emergency descent and landing??

    1. May have engaged altitude hold in autopilot while troubleshooting sputtering engine and got pitch-trimmed into the stall. Full moving tail cone instead of trim tab, hard to overcome with elevator if you let it run to the nose up limit unobserved.

      The terrain is 1100' MSL there and altimeter was 30.29 at the time. The 29.92 referenced ADS-B altitudes are about 200 feet less than true, so the 1900 MSL data is about 1000 AGL.

      Looks like there was a zoom climb before the turn to the west, trading airspeed for altitude. Ground speed got down to 46 knots at 56:05 time hack before the turn.

  4. I don't hear any engine noise on the audio, and no fire from an impact like that?

    1. Wing isn't crushed or torn open and leakage after the aircraft settles in the leaf litter gets absorbed. Lots of crumpling, but no sprayed fuel mist.

  5. Looking at the wreckage it appears the wings and tail section are still fully attached. With those kind of trees it seems that if there was any forward motion they would have got torn off.
    Sure looks like a flat spin right into the trees. RIP