NTSB Identification: CHI02LA261.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 25, 2002 in Warroad, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2004
Aircraft: Mooney M20C, registration: N9274V
Injuries: 2 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.
During initial climb after takeoff the aircraft experienced a loss of engine power and the pilot performed a forced landing into trees. The pilot reported the airplane "lifted off at between 75 and 78 mph and everything was normal. At 25 to 30 feet in the air I began to experience backfiring and loss of power. Then the power resumed momentarily and the engine caught again lifting us above the trees. Then the engine started backfiring severely with [a] loss of power. As we began settling into the trees I shut off the master switch and chose a tree to hit with one wing in order to break our forward motion and to slow the aircraft. The aircraft spun around doing a 180 degree turn settling into the trees." The pilot stated that he "saw a small amount of smoke coming from the [cowling]" after he exited the airplane. Inspection of the engine compartment revealed fire damage to the air filter assembly, air intake ducting, and rubberized engine compartment baffling. All muffler baffles were either burned or missing.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of engine power due to the failure of the muffler baffles which blocked the exhaust system. A factor to the accident was the treeline.
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