NTSB Identification: CHI01LA182.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 21, 2001 in COLUMBIA, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/08/2003
Aircraft: Mooney M20J, registration: N20WR
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 pilot reported a loss of power to Mizzu Approach Control (ATC) approximately 7 minutes after taking off from the Columbia Municipal Airport (COU), Columbia, Missouri. ATC gave the pilot a vector back to COU. When ATC asked the pilot if he wanted emergency equipment standing by at the airport, the pilot said, "Uh negative, we got a little power ..." ATC radar showed the airplane in a right turn, 9 miles northeast of COU at 4,000 feet msl. ATC asked the pilot if he could maintain 3,000 msl? The pilot said, "Negative on three thousand ... were still going down ... we're just windmilling now." ATC radar showed the airplane at 2,200 feet msl. ATC then asked the pilot, "... are you still losing power?" The pilot responded that he had no power. ATC told the pilot he would put him on a vector that would bring him into COU. ATC told the pilot he was 6 miles from the airport and asked him if he was going to make it? The pilot responded, "... probably not." The pilot then reported, "Uh we just picked up power again yeah I'm going to see if I can climb back up a bit here." The pilot told ATC that he seemed to be able to maintain 1,500 feet. The ATC controller told the pilot to continue inbound and to let him know when the pilot had the airport in sight. There was no further radio contact with the pilot. ATC radar showed the airplane in a descent passing through 1,300 feet. When radar contact with the airplane was lost, it was 4.8 miles northeast of COU at 900 feet msl. The airplane was destroyed when it impacted into trees and a creek bed. The weather conditions for COU at the time of the accident were few clouds at 900 feet agl, 1,600 overcast, and 10 miles visibility with light rain. An examination of the airplane's right locking fuel tank cap showed the locking mechanism behind the key insertion missing. An internal examination of the fuel filter and housing in the fuel injector servo showed a large amount of reddish-brown colored flakes and powdered material. A piece of solid reddish-brown material approximately 1/4 inch long was taken from the filter housing. The material was consistent with corroded metal. Plugs at both ends of the filter housing showed corrosion. Corrosion was also observed on the housing threads, the fuel filter, and the fuel filter spring. There was light visible through the locking mechanism for the right fuel tank. There was rain the previous day. No other anomalies were found with the airplane.

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

The loss of engine power for an undetermined reason. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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