NTSB Identification: WPR10LA082
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 13, 2009 in Truckee, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/16/2011
Aircraft: EADS SOCATA TBM 700, registration: N850MT
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During the flight, the instrument-rated private pilot was monitoring the weather at his intended destination. He noted the weather and runway conditions and decided to conduct a global-positioning-system instrument approach to a known closed runway with the intention of circling to a different runway. As the airplane neared the missed approach point, the pilot established visual contact with the airport's runway environment and canceled his instrument flight rules clearance. As he entered the left downwind leg of the traffic pattern for his intended runway, the pilot noticed that the first part of the runway was covered in fog and that the visibility was 0.75 of a mile with light snow. With at least 5,000 feet of clear runway, he opted to land just beyond the fog. Prior to touchdown, the pilot concluded that there was not enough runway length left to make a landing and performed a go-around by applying power, pitching up, and retracting the landing gear. During the go-around, the pilot focused outside the airplane cockpit but had no horizon reference in the dark night conditions. He heard the stall warning and realized that the aircraft was not climbing. The pilot pitched the nose down and observed only snow and trees ahead. Not being able to climb over the trees, the airplane subsequently impacted trees and terrain, coming to rest upright in a wooded, snow-covered field. The pilot stated that there were no anomalies with the engine or airframe that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain an adequate airspeed and clearance from terrain during an attempted go-around. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to land on a partially obscured runway.

Full narrative available

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