NTSB Identification: WPR12FA297
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 09, 2012 in Scottsdale, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/14/2013
Aircraft: MOONEY M20L, registration: N137MP
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 flight instructor stated that the pilot receiving instruction was practicing touch-and-go landings. On the fifth landing, the pilot flared too high, and the airplane dropped to the runway, landed hard, and bounced into the air. The flight instructor directed the pilot to “go around,” and the pilot applied power and fully retracted the flaps, which is contrary to the procedure in the pilot’s operating handbook to retract the flaps only to the 10-degree position. Both pilots stated that the engine did not respond. A video recording showed that the airplane’s altitude was about 30 feet above the ground when it rolled left to a bank angle of about 90 degrees. The left wing tip impacted the runway, and the airplane cartwheeled and came to rest upright about 200 feet left of the runway centerline.

Postaccident examination of the engine revealed that two O-ring seals were installed on each of the engine’s six fuel injector nozzles, whereas the engine’s maintenance manual called for the installation of only one O-ring seal on each nozzle. However, flow testing showed that placing two O-rings on the nozzles had no effect on the operation of the fuel system. No other anomalies were found, and the examination and testing indicated that the engine was capable of operating normally and producing its rated horsepower. Further, the damage to the propeller blades was consistent with the engine operating at a mid-range to high power setting at impact. The airplane’s left roll to a steep bank angle is consistent with the engine developing power as the airplane enters an aerodynamic stall, which resulted in a torque roll to the left.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control during an aborted landing, and the flight instructor’s delayed remedial action. Contributing to the accident were the pilot’s improper landing flare, which resulted in a bounced landing, and his premature flap retraction while performing a go-around maneuver.

Full narrative available

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