NTSB Identification: NYC07FA130.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 04, 2007 in Canton, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2008
Aircraft: Mooney M20J, registration: N4126H
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.

The private pilot had owned the airplane and flew it in actual instrument meteorological conditions for many years. The pilot successfully flew a localizer approach, and descended through a cloud layer into visual conditions about 500 feet above ground level. She was in radio contact with air traffic control when the airplane pitched up, then down, and descended rapidly into swampy terrain. During an approximately 45-day period prior to the accident flight, the pilot had experienced problems with the manual and electric pitch trim sticking or exhibiting stiffness when she attempted to move the trim toward the nose up position. The problem was addressed twice by a maintenance repair facility at the pilot's home airport, and once by an avionics repair facility; however, the pilot continued to report problems of trim stiffness. The pilot's husband, who was also a certificated pilot, did not notice any trim problems on a recent long cross-country flight. An examination of the wreckage, including the pitch trim system, did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. While the aft pitch trim jackscrew required slightly more force to turn toward the nose up position, verses the nose down position, the aft pitch trim jackscrew moved freely by hand in both directions. In addition, fresh grease was observed on both the forward and aft pitch trim jackscrews. The flaps were found fully extended, and the pitch trim was found in a nose up position, consistent with a normal approach and landing descent.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed, which resulted in an inadvertent stall and subsequent impact with terrain.

Full narrative available

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