NTSB Identification: LAX08FA068
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 27, 2008 in Riverside, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/06/2009
Aircraft: MOONEY M20C, registration: N591BB
Injuries: 3 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 pilot, who had recently purchased a half share of the airplane, and two passengers were on a local area flight and had stopped at the airport for dinner. The accident occurred as the flight was departing to return to their home airport. A witness reported that once airborne the airplane was "porpoising" up and down as it flew towards him. As the airplane neared the end of the runway, he saw it make a steep climbing left turn. The airplane then rolled inverted and descended towards the ground in a near-vertical nose-down attitude. The airplane impacted a palm tree and a vehicle that was parked on the residential street located just south of the airport. After the airplane impacted the ground, the witness saw an explosion and a fire ball. A postcrash fire largely consumed the wreckage. An examination of the engine showed no discrepancies that would have precluded power from being developed prior to impact. There was no evidence of structural, powerplant, or systems failure. All of the airplane's primary structure and flight controls were accounted for at the accident site. Primary flight control system continuity was established. The fuel selector valve was selected on the left tank. Flaps and landing gear were retracted and the tail trim was measured and found to be set for takeoff.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed and aircraft control, resulting in an aerodynamic stall.

Full narrative available

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