NTSB Identification: FTW01LA090.
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Accident occurred Friday, March 30, 2001 in PECOS, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2001
Aircraft: Mooney M20J, registration: N4498H
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was climbing through 5,500 feet when the pilot heard a loud noise and felt a rush of air. The pilot turned around and noticed that the baggage door was open. He elected to return and land at the departure airport. The pilot stated that his reference paper with the traffic pattern altitude written on it was blown away with the rush of air. He entered downwind low and continued a low approach until final where he attempted to add power to arrest his descent rate. The airplane continued to sink and impacted the ground short of the runway with the right wing low.

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

the pilot's failure to obtain a proper glide path during landing, which resulted in the airplane's impact with terrain short of the runway. Contributory factors were the open baggage door and the pilot's diverted attention to the open door.

Full narrative available

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