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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN17LA184
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 15, 2017 in Dowling, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/2017
Aircraft: MOONEY M20E, registration: N9265M
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The private pilot stated that, during the flight, the airspeed indicator displayed a lower than normal airspeed. The pilot landed the airplane at an intermediate airport to drop off a passenger, then continued to his home airport, a privately-owned, 2,000-ft-long turf runway. During the first attempted landing, the airplane would not “settle,” and the pilot initiated a go-around. During the second landing, the airplane floated again, consistent with a higher-than-indicated airspeed, and the pilot "forced" the airplane onto the runway. The airplane porpoised and continued off the runway, hitting trees, a fence, and a pole, resulting in substantial damage. During postaccident examination, the remains of an insect were found in the pitot tube. A functional test of the airspeed indicator revealed no anomalies. It is likely that the inaccurate airspeed indications were due to the contamination of the pitot static system, which subsequently resulted in a high approach and landing speed and subsequent runway overrun.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • Innacurate airspeed indications due to contamination of the pitot-static system with insect remains, which resulted in a high approach and landing speed and subsequent runway overrun.