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N7830V accident description

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Crash location 35.047500°N, 85.018056°W
Nearest city Collegedale, TN
35.053130°N, 85.050228°W
1.9 miles away
Tail number N7830V
Accident date 11 Jun 2016
Aircraft type Mooney M20E
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On June 11, 2016, about 1246 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20E, N7830V, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain while maneuvering after a go-around at the Collegedale Municipal Airport (FGU), Collegedale, Tennessee. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured, and one passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight.

According to information obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the flight originated from the North Perry Airport (HWO), Hollywood, Florida, and landed at the Harris County Airport, Pine Mountain (PIM), Georgia, before continuing to FGU. Flight track data recovered from an onboard GPS device showed that the airplane departed PIM at 1128:14 and proceeded toward FGU.

A flight instructor reported that he was conducting a flight with a student pilot and was about 3 miles east of FGU setting up to land on runway 21, when he saw the accident airplane on short final approach to land on runway 3. The flight instructor contacted airport personnel via the common traffic advisory frequency and confirmed that the wind was favoring runway 21. The flight instructor did not hear any radio communications from the accident airplane. Shortly thereafter, he observed the accident airplane in a climbing left turn near the departure end of runway 3, about 80 to 100 ft above the ground. The airplane then made a steep 45° to 60° bank to the right, with a nose-high attitude. As it progressed through the turn, the airplane's nose dropped, and it began a slow 270° rotation at a high descent rate.

Figure 1 shows the airplane's GPS track during the approach and go-around at FGU. The go-around began at 1245:20; the airplane made a left climbing turn at groundspeeds that varied between 79 and 67 mph and, about 1245:50, reached a maximum GPS altitude of about 1,080 ft. The left turn continued for another 10 seconds as the airplane descended to 990 ft with an average groundspeed of about 75 mph. The airplane's last GPS target recorded at 1246:01 indicated a right turn, at a GPS altitude of 971 ft and a groundspeed of about 74 mph.

The airplane impacted the ground and came to rest upright on a grass area adjacent to the east side of runway 3, about 1,000 ft from the approach end of runway 21.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on January 26, 2015, with no limitations. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 550 hours.

A pilot logbook obtained by an FAA inspector indicated that the pilot had logged about 16 hours in the airplane between February and April 2015 and that he had satisfactorily completed a flight review in accordance with 14 CFR Part 61.56 on January 28, 2015. The last entry in the logbook was dated April 11, 2015. The investigation could not determine the pilot's flight experience during the 14-months preceding the accident.


The four-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear, all-metal airplane was manufactured in 1964. It was powered by a 200-horsepower Lycoming IO-360-A1A engine, equipped with a three-blade constant-speed Hartzell propeller assembly.

According to FAA records, the pilot purchased the airplane on February 13, 2015. Review of the airplane's logbooks revealed that its most recent annual inspection was performed on February 1, 2016, at an airframe total time of about 2,990 hours. At the time of the inspection, the engine had accumulated about 93 hours of operation since major overhaul. At the time of the accident, the airplane had been operated about 25 hours since the annual inspection and about 70 hours since it was purchased by the pilot.

Stall speed information for the airplane was contained in a stall speed vs bank angle chart located in the owner's manual (see figure 2).


The 1253 weather observation at Lovel Field Airport, Chattanooga, Tennessee, located about 9 nautical miles west of the accident site, reported calm wind, 10 statute miles visibility, few clouds at 5,000 ft above ground level, temperature 33°C, dew point 16°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.14 inches of mercury.


FGU was owned by the City of Collegedale and classified by the FAA as a public airport. The airport elevation was 860 ft above mean sea level, and the asphalt runway was configured in a 3/21 orientation. The runway was 4,986 ft-long by 75 ft-wide. The runway 3 threshold was displaced 400 ft due to trees before the approach end of the runway.


A 70-ft-long ground scar, oriented on a magnetic heading of about 200° led to the main wreckage, which was resting on a magnetic heading of about 050°.

All major portions of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The airplane was not equipped with shoulder harnesses. The landing gear was in the retracted position, and the fuel selector was positioned to the left fuel tank. The right wing separated near its wing root. The right flap remained attached to the wing, which was compressed aft, bent upward, and twisted at the outboard end. The right fuel tank was compromised, and no fuel was observed in the right fuel tank. The left wing remained attached to the fuselage. The left flap was separated and located under the wing. The underside of the left wing was compressed upward along the entire leading edge. An undetermined amount of fuel was observed leaking from the left fuel tank, and about 15 gallons of fuel were recovered from the tank. The aft 5 ft of the fuselage before the empennage was deformed.

The airplane's flight controls were actuated by push-pull tubes. All primary flight controls remained connected at their respective attach points. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the elevator and rudder control surfaces to the forward cockpit area. Due to impact damage, flight control continuity could not be confirmed from the forward cockpit area to the control yokes or from the left and right ailerons to the forward cockpit area. In addition, the preimpact position of the hydraulically-controlled flaps could not be determined due to impact damage.

The front portion of the airplane, which included the engine, was displaced downward and to the right. The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand via the three-blade propeller assembly, which remained attached and displayed evidence consistent with rotation on two of the three blades. Valve train continuity was observed, and thumb compression was obtained on each cylinder. In addition, all cylinders were examined using a borescope, and no anomalies were observed. The oil suction and fuel servo inlet screens were absent of contamination. Both magnetos were impact damaged; however, they produced spark from their respective towers when rotated by hand.


The Office of the Hamilton County Medical Examiner, Chattanooga, Tennessee, performed an autopsy on the pilot. According to the autopsy report, the cause of death was "multiple blunt forces injuries." No significant natural disease was identified. Toxicological testing performed on specimens from the pilot as part of the autopsy was negative for any tested substances.

Toxicological testing performed by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on specimens obtained from the pilot's initial hospital admission identified midazolam in blood and serum. Midazolam is a sedative hypnotic benzodiazepine medication commonly used during resuscitative efforts. Hospital records indicated that paramedics administered midazolam to the pilot as part of the his on-scene care.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and his exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack while maneuvering after a go-around, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

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