DEN03LA024
DEN03LA024

On December 10, 2002, about 1115 mountain standard time, a Mooney M20K, N252DR, registered to and operated by Flying M-U-2, Inc., was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power at the Eagle County Airport, Eagle, Colorado. The private and student pilot were not injured. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a VFR flight plan had been filed for the personal flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight had just originated and was en route to Waco, Texas.

According to the pilot's accident report, about 10 seconds after the airplane lifted off the runway, he realized "the cowl plugs had been left in the cowl holes. Fearing engine/propeller entanglement with [the] cord connecting the two front plugs, [he] attempted to reland on [the] same runway." The airplane touched down but there was insufficient runway remaining to come to a safe stop. The pilot elected to abort the landing, resulting in the airplane "not regaining the air." The airplane went off the end of the runway and traveled about 300 feet across rough terrain before the nose landing gear collapsed.

After NTSB was notified of the accident, the pilot was contacted via telephone and asked what had happened. He said that after the airplane lifted off the runway and had climbed 50 feet, the engine lost power. He attempted to land on the 2,000 feet of runway remaining. The airplane touched down, traveled approximately 300 feet before going off the end onto soft, muddy ground. Airport emergency personnel who responded reported to NTSB that they found the protective coverings for the engine air scoops still in place. Postaccident examination further revealed wrinkling of the fuselage behind the firewall, and a 4-inch hole in the fuselage. The horizontal stabilizer was also damaged.


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