NTSB Identification: DFW06FA110.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 22, 2006 in Columbus, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/27/2007
Aircraft: Mooney M20K, registration: N231GE
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Shortly after the single-engine airplane departed Runway 36, (a 6,497-foot-long by 150-foot-wide asphalt runway), the 2,410-hour commercial pilot informed air traffic control that the airplane's engine had experienced a "total power failure" and that he would be returning to the airport. The pilot elected to fly back across a four lane highway and an open field in an attempt to reach the airport. The airplane's right wing impacted a large oak tree, approximately 4,054 short of the runway. The airplane subsequently impacted the ground before coming to rest in an inverted position. There was no post impact fire and all major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. During the investigation it was revealed that the pilot had experienced a partial loss of engine power on his previous flight; a 585-nautical mile cross-country flight. After landing the pilot instructed an airframe and powerplant mechanic to perform a visual inspection of the engine in order to look for abnormalities. No anomalies were noted. The pilot then elected to return on the 585-nautical mile cross-country flight before having the engine further examined. The accident occurred while the pilot was initiating his return flight. An examination of the airframe, engine, and related components did not reveal any abnormalities that would have prevented normal operation. The reason for the reported loss of engine power could not be determined.

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

The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons. A contributing factor was the pilot's improper decision to forgo suitable forced landing opportunities in an attempt to return to the airport.

Full narrative available

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