NTSB Identification: NYC04LA191.
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Accident occurred Thursday, August 12, 2004 in Edgartown, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/28/2006
Aircraft: Mooney M20K, registration: N231LK
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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

Upon arriving in the airport area, the pilot was informed to expect a visual approach to runway 24. While on the downwind leg for runway 24, the tower controller asked the pilot if he could make a visual approach to runway 15. The pilot replied that he could accept the visual approach to runway 15, and made a left hand turn towards the runway. During the final approach to runway 15, the pilot recalled that his approach speed was approximately 90 knots, and he was slowing the airplane for landing. Suddenly, and without warning, the left wing dropped, and the pilot was unable to control the airplane with aileron inputs. The airplane descended, and impacted the ground about 900 feet prior to the runway threshold. The pilot added that the engine was producing power at all times and when the left wing dropped he applied full power. The pilot subsequently stated on his submission of NTSB Form 6120.1/2, that during the turn to runway 15, he reduced the speed to 90 knots, and performed s-turns to lower his altitude. Approximately 15 seconds before landing, the airplane encountered a wind shear, "one wing went down, one wing went up," and the ailerons did not seem to respond to inputs. One wing then struck a tree, and the airplane landed in bushes prior to the runway. According to an air traffic controller at the airport, the winds were fluctuating, with gusts to 20 knots. She had no reports of wind shear prior to the accident. The winds reported at the airport about the time of the accident, were from 150 at 14 knots.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while performing maneuvers to land, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/mush. A factor was the gusting wind conditions.

Full narrative available

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