NTSB Identification: MIA98FA187.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 22, 1998 in PICKENS, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2000
Aircraft: Mooney M-20E, registration: N2709W
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While in radio and radar contact with FAA Greenville/Spartanburg's Departure Control, climbing through 7,900 feet msl, to an assigned altitude of 9,500 feet msl, about 30 miles northwest of the Greenville/Spartanburg Airport, the pilot radioed that she had a very rough running engine and wanted vectors to the nearest airport. The controller supplied vectors to within 7 miles of the nearest airport, at which time the pilot chose a farmers field for a forced landing. The airplane collided with two pine trees within a stand of pines about 40 feet above ground, in a relatively flat, wings level, upright attitude. The airplane continued airborne for about 310 feet over a relatively clear field and then impact dense brush and 8- to 12-foot trees in an inverted attitude. Subsequent disassembly and examination of the engine and its associated components revealed no cause for the rough running engine. A finding of 0.056 ug/ml (ug/g) Diphenhydramine (antihistamine) was reported in the toxicological evaluation of the pilot's blood and urine.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

A loss of engine power for undetermined reasons and the pilot not maintaining adequate clearance with objects (trees) during the emergency landing. Contributing factors were the pilot's impairment associated with the use of an antihistamine and the trees.

Full narrative available

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