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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN19FA139
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 08, 2019 in Moose Lake, MN
Aircraft: Mooney M20J, registration: N111JP
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 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.

On May 8, 2019, about 1630 central daylight time, a Mooney M20J airplane, N111JP, crashed into Moose Horn River northwest of the Moose Lake Carlton County Airport (KMZH), Moose Lake, Minnesota. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was owned by Club Cherokee, Inc., and operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan had been filed for the flight. The business flight was originating at the time of the accident and was en route to Crystal Airport (KMIC), Minneapolis, Minnesota.

FAA records indicate that the pilot obtained a weather briefing from flight service station at 1548. According to colleagues of the pilot, he departed the hospital about 1600, and drove to the airport about 7 minutes away. The pilot was issued an instrument clearance and a clearance void time of 1635. When the pilot did not check in with air traffic control, a search for the airplane and the pilot was initiated. Local law enforcement and fire/rescue personnel located the wreckage of the airplane about 1/4 mile to the northwest of the airport, in the river, the next morning.

The airplane came to rest near the west bank of the river in about 2 to 4 ft of water. The engine and propeller were imbedded in the mud and silt on the bank of the river and the tail was extended into the air.

The closes official weather observation station was KMXH located just east of the accident site. The routine aviation weather observation for KMZH issued at 1615 reported wind 040° at 11 knots, gusting to 16 knots, visibility 2.5 miles with light snow, sky condition overcast clouds at 800 ft, temperature 1° Celsius (C), dewpoint temperature 0° C, altimeter 30.03 inches of Mercury. The observation issued at 1635 reported wind 030° at 11 knots, gusting to 18 knots, visibility 1.25 miles with light snow, sky condition overcast clouds at 600 ft, temperature 0° C, dewpoint temperature 0° C, altimeter 30.01 inches of Mercury. The observation issued at 1655 wind 040° at 10 knots, gusting to 15 knots, visibility 1 mile with light snow, sky condition over cast clouds at 600 ft, temperature 0° C, dewpoint temperature 0° C, altimeter 30.00 inches of Mercury.