NTSB Identification: MIA99LA191.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, June 29, 1999 in LIBERTY, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Mooney M20F, registration: N7114V
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The flight was in cruise at 6,500 feet msl, when the engine started to run rough. Two to three minutes later the engine stopped operating, and the pilot requested vectors to the nearest airport. While setting himself up for a forced landing, the cabin filled with smoke, and the pilot cracked open the cabin door to evacuate the smoke. The airplane touched down short of the runway and sustained main landing gear damage. Postcrash examination revealed muffler and muffler shroud breaching that allowed engine exhaust to impinge on and burn components of the nose landing gear, the air induction system, and the lower fuselage. NTSB Materials Laboratory examination revealed the muffler failed due to scaling and intergranular attack occurring over a period of time that would have been evident 30 flight hours previous when the airplane underwent an annual inspection.

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

Improper inspection of the muffler assembly resulting in erosion going undetected and the rupture of the muffler and shroud while in cruise flight. The condition caused melting of portions of the air induction system, loss of engine power, and the pilot's attempted forced landing that resulted in collision with terrain that sheared one main landing gear and fractured the wheel of the other main landing gear. A factor in the accident was the pilot's obscured vision due to smoke in the cockpit.

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