SEA05LA129
SEA05LA129

On June 26, 2005, at 1254 mountain daylight time, a Mooney M20J, N201U, was substantially damaged during a landing attempt at Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN), Hailey, Idaho. The private pilot, the sole occupant in the aircraft, was seriously injured. The pilot/owner was conducting the flight under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country personal flight which originated approximately 2 hours 24 minutes before the accident from Redmond, Oregon. The pilot had flown the 300 nautical mile trip on an IFR flight plan.

The pilot said that he had been cleared to land. He said that he was at approximately 300 feet above ground level (AGL) when the nose of his airplane pitched up approximately 15 degrees and the left wing dropped approximately 30 degrees. He said he "attempted to correct this condition with both the ailerons and rudder, with no results. It was as if the yolk was locked with a gust lock." The pilot said that he immediately checked the location of a flight bag and oxygen bottle that were on the floor in front of the front passenger 's seat to make certain that they were not interfering with the yolk or rudders, which they weren't. He said that he had been hand flying the airplane for several minutes, but he confirmed that the auto pilot was off. The pilot said that he believed that he was approaching a stall, so he increased power to full power. Soon, thereafter, he impacted the ground after approximately 160 degrees of left hand turn. The left wing was nearly separated from the aircraft, and the fuselage and empennage were both bent and wrinkled.

A witness said that the airplane was on a 1/4 mile final with landing gear and flaps down. He said that it looked like the airplane started to go-around to the left with a high power setting. He said that when the airplane had turned approximately 180 degrees, its left wing impacted terrain and the airplane cartwheeled. Another witness said that the airplane was never more that 100 to 150 feet above the ground during this maneuver.

The pilot had recently completed (June 5, 2005) a Mooney Pilot Proficiency Program, and received his FAA required flight review endorsement. He had flown the airplane approximately 31 hours during the previous 30 days. The density altitude at the time of the accident was calculated to be 7,292 feet.

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