NTSB Identification: CEN09FA147
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 01, 2009 in Elbert, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/09/2009
Aircraft: MOONEY M20C, registration: N7774M
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.

A local resident found the airplane wreckage in a ravine located between two pastures and alerted authorities. The airplane rested over a crater, with the forward fuselage and cabin broken but with the engine still attached to the fuselage. Ground impact marks were consistent with a left-wing-low and nose-down impact. Examination of the airplane, engine, and other systems showed no preimpact anomalies. An analysis of the airplane's radar track showed it conducting several back-and-forth maneuvers before disappearing from radar. Just prior to the loss of radar contact, the airplane appeared to be in a gentle right-hand turn at 7,900 feet mean sea level (about 1,300 feet above ground level) with a groundspeed of approximately 50 knots. The accident flight profile was consistent with a pilot proficiency flight and the maneuver preceding the crash that of practicing slow-flight maneuvering.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent loss of control.

Full narrative available

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