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N43CW accident description

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Tail numberN43CW
Accident dateNovember 11, 2005
Aircraft typeMooney M20M
LocationSummerville, SC
Near 33.066667 N, -80.283333 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On November 11, 2005, at 1418 eastern standard time, a Mooney M20M, N43CW, registered to and operated by the private pilot, collided with trees, and burst into flames during an approach to land on runway 24, at the Summerville Airport, Summerville, South Carolina. The flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The pilot received serious injuries. The passenger received fatal injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight originated from Waverly, Ohio, at 1200 Central Standard Time.

According to the pilot, when he arrived at the Summerville Airport the pilot called in his position and intentions and proceeded with the approach. He stated that he ran through the normal landing check list including putting the landing gear down. At touchdown, the wind picked up and the airplane was going "a little to fast." The airplane bounced and he elected to do a go-around and try again. He throttled the engine up and as they began climbing, the airplane started to go left of the center line. He stated that he "pulled the gear back up" to gain lift, and as they began to climb out the engine started missing. He radioed the Fixed Base Operator and told them he was having engine trouble but then it cleared up. He stated that he completed his turn back towards the airport and the engine started missing again. He said that the more throttle that he applied the worse the engine missed. He said he kept the power back to where the airplane could maintain a safe altitude yet keep it above the stall speed. However, the power kept dropping and he had no choice but to put the airplane into the trees short of runway 24. He stated that he kept the landing gear up to avoid getting them caught in the trees. The pilot egressed through the rear cargo door, after unsuccessfully attempting to assist his passenger.

According to witnesses, the airplane touched down on runway 06, with the gear retracted. The airplane was observed exiting a cloud of dust and climbing to about 500 feet. Witnesses said the airplane circled the runway to the left twice, and the pilot lowered the landing gear for an approach to runway 24. During the descent the airplane went into the trees and collided with the ground 500 yards from the threshold of runway 24. Witnesses telephoned the 911 operator, reported the accident, and proceeded to the accident site to give assistance.

Examination of the wreckage found the fuselage and the engine mostly fire damaged. Examination of the approach end of runway 24, found scrapes marks and slashes in the runway surface similar in appearance to marks that would have been made by a rotating propeller. There were no mechanical problems discovered during the post-accident examination of the airplane.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.