NTSB Identification: DEN08LA118
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 04, 2008 in Elbert, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/25/2009
Aircraft: MOONEY M20M, registration: N17RA
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.

The private pilot was performing a visual approach and full stop landing. During the landing, the nose gear struck the runway and the pilot initiated a go-around. He stated that he applied power for a go-around, began a positive rate of climb and retracted the flaps to the first setting per the Pilot Operating Handbook procedures. He saw that he was sinking and pushed the throttle to the firewall. He said that the engine did not respond properly and the airplane settled back to the ground, striking the tail and landing left of the departure end of the runway. The airplane traveled several hundred feet before stopping on its belly. The pilot estimated the airplane gross weight at 2,980 pounds at the time of the accident. One witness stated they "saw the Mooney headed north at slow speed, nose high attitude. [The pilot] added power and it mushed down." A second witness said, "when I saw the nose attitude of the aircraft (very nose high) with gear extended I knew they were in trouble." A third witness who saw the initial takeoff in the morning said it was not a great takeoff and the airplane did not sound as strong as the other two 300 hp airplanes on the airfield. He also witnessed a portion of the final go-around and said the airplane "seemed a little slow and steep on the go around." The Density altitude was calculated at 9,674 feet.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during a go-around, resulting in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the high density altitude.

Full narrative available

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