NTSB Identification: SEA92FA101.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46329.
Accident occurred Sunday, May 17, 1992 in GLENDIVE, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1993
Aircraft: MOONEY M20F, registration: N2920L
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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.

THE PILOT OF THE MOONEY M20F RETRACTED HIS LANDING GEAR ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TIRES LIFTED OFF THE RUNWAY. HE CONTINUED TO ACCELERATE WHILE FLYING VERY LOW OVER THE AIRFIELD, AND THEN EXECUTED A STEEP RIGHT HAND 180 DEGREE TURNING PULL-UP. NUMEROUS PILOT-RATED WITNESSES STATED THAT DURING THIS PULL-UP THE AIRCRAFT APPEARED TO BE FLYING JUST ON THE EDGE OF A STALL. HE THEN PROCEEDED TO THE APPROACH END OF THE AIRFIELD, ENTERED A DESCENDING TURN AND THEN EXECUTED A HIGH SPEED, LOW LEVEL PASS. DURING THIS PASS A HELIUM FILLED BALLOON WAS RELEASED FOR THE PILOT TO ATTEMPT TO BURST WITH THE AIRCRAFT'S PROPELLER. AT THE CONCLUSION OF THIS PASS, THE PILOT MADE A RAPID CLIMBING PULL-UP TO THE LEFT, REACHING AN ALTITUDE OF APPROXIMATELY 300 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL. THE BANK ANGLE AT THE TOP OF THE CLIMBING TURN WAS ESTIMATED BY THE WITNESSES TO BE APPROXIMATELY 50 DEGREES. THE AIRCRAFT MAINTAINED APPROXIMATELY THE SAME ANGLE OF BANK AS IT DESCENDED TOWARD THE TERRAIN, ULTIMATELY IMPACTING NEAR THE RUNWAY.

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

AN EXCESSIVE RATE OF DESCENT, AND THE PILOT'S OVERCONFIDENCE IN HIMSELF AND THE AIRCRAFT.

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