On September 7, 2002, at 1214 central daylight time, a Mooney M20F, single-engine airplane, N6369Q, struck trees and terrain following a loss of control during the base to final turn for runway 18 at the Rector Airport, near Rector, Arkansas. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot and the 3 passengers received minor injures, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The personal flight departed Kennett, Missouri, approximately 1200, with Rector, Arkansas, as its intended destination.

The FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, found the airplane in a heavy wooded area approximately 200 yards short of the runway. The airplane was resting on its left side in a near inverted attitude. The main landing gear was in the retracted position. The left wing and the aft fuselage were found separated from the airframe.

On a written statement, the 4,000-hour pilot reported that during the left downwind pattern, he slowed the airplane to 100 knots indicated airspeed and performed the gear extension procedure. The main landing gear position indicator in the cockpit showed that the gear was not down and locked. The pilot added power, recycled the main gear lever, and got a green indicator light on the instrument panel. During the time in which the pilot was performing the landing gear extension, the airplane descended from 1,100 feet msl to 800 feet msl. The pilot added power and the airplane "seemed to respond." The pilot added "two pumps of flaps" and turned the airplane to enter a left base pattern. During the turn, the airplane "seemed to rock and burble as a stall," and the pilot rolled wings level and added full throttle. Subsequently, during the turn from left base to final approach over the trees, the airplane "seemed to fall out with a high sink rate." The pilot leveled the wings, and retracted the main landing gear; however, the airplane struck the trees.

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