NTSB Identification: DEN03LA024.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, December 10, 2002 in Eagle, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Mooney M20K, registration: N252DR
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.

After the airplane lifted off the runway and climbed 50 feet (about 10 seconds into the flight), the engine lost power. The pilot attempted to land on the 2,000 feet of runway remaining. The pilot said there was insufficient runway to bring the airplane to a safe stop, so he elected to abort the landing. The airplane did not become airborne, but traveled approximately 300 feet before exiting the runway onto soft, muddy ground. The nose wheel collapsed and was torn off, wrinkling the fuselage behind the firewall. There was a 4-inch hole in the fuselage, and the horizontal stabilizer was also damaged. Airport emergency personnel who responded reported finding the protective coverings for the engine air scoops still in place.

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

the pilot's failure to remove protective coverings from the engine air scoops during the preflight inspection, resulting in air starvation and a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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