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NTSB Identification: CHI06FA256

On September 5, 2006, at 1244 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20J, N1172U, owned and piloted by a private pilot, impacted terrain near Smithville, Ohio. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The flight departed from Burlington International Airport (BTV), Burlington, Vermont, at 0848, and was en route to Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport (MFD), Mansfield, Ohio.

The pilot's brother-in-law stated that the pilot arrived at BTV on August 23, 2006, to visit family and departed on September 5, 2006 about 0830, to return to Los Angeles, California. The airplane had not been flown between its arrival and departure. According to the brother-in-law, the return trip was planned to have an estimated time of 15 hours and was "guessing" that there would have been three fuel stops. He said that the flight would have taken several days, and the pilot would either stay in a motel or in his airplane. He stated that the pilot would "usually fly with a tank in reserve." The brother-in-law saw that both fuel tanks were "filled, or topped off" and that the pilot took a fuel sample and checked for contamination during the preflight.

A caller representing N1172U called the Burlington Automated Flight Service Station and received a briefing at 0710 for a flight from BTV to MFD at a proposed departure time of 0900. The caller requested and received winds aloft information for 8,000-10,000 feet. The caller did not file a flight plan.

On September 5, 2006, at 0842, a pilot deviation was reported by Burlington Air Traffic Control Tower, when N1172U taxied onto runway 15 without authorization. N1172U was instructed to turn off onto taxiway golf from runway 19 but continued straight ahead onto runway 15.

A witness stated that he was at his farm in a tractor cab when he saw the airplane impact the ground, become airborne, and then impact a field. He stated that when the airplane became airborne, the propeller was not "spinning." He did not see any smoke and could not hear anything because he was on his tractor.


The pilot was issued a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating on September 17, 1985. He was issued a third class airman medical certificate on August 3, 2006, with the following restriction: "must wear lenses for distant - possess glasses for near vision."

The pilot's logbook shows that in 2003 the pilot flew a total of three flights and accumulated 52.7 hours, in 2004 he flew a total of three flight and accumulated 35.1 hours, and in 2005 he flew a total of four flights and accumulated 12.7 hours. The last logbook entry was dated July 18, 2005, for a flight review with 1.8 hours of flight time in the accident airplane.


The Mooney M20J, serial number 24-1631, was registered to the pilot on January 27, 1988. The airplane received its last inspection during an annual inspection dated August 1, 2006, at a tachometer time of 334 hours. The airplane was powered by a Lycoming IO-360-A3B6 engine, serial number L-26246-51A, that accumulated a total time of 361.9 hours.


MFD was located approximately 31 miles on a course of 272 degrees from the main wreckage. The main wreckage of the airplane consisted of the fuselage, engine, wings, empennage, all of which were either adjacent or attached to the aircraft structure. The main wreckage was resting upright on a heading of 125 degrees in a corn field. The main wreckage was preceded by flattened corn stalks oriented on a heading of 185 degrees and along an area that was 35 feet long and 3 feet wide. The main wreckage was also located approximately 0.3 miles on a heading of 253 degrees from a series of slash marks, consistent with propeller slash marks, in a turf field. There was electric fence wire entangled in the right wing tip of the airplane, which was consistent with wire fencing located near where the slash marks were located.

The distance between slash marks was measured from the furthest to the closest from the main wreckage and were recorded as follows:

15 inches
37 inches
62 inches
84 inches
108 inches
132 inches

There was an undamaged 40-foot high power line approximately 70 feet from the slash marks on the 253 degree heading.

The propeller blades exhibited bending and S-shaped twisting along the longitudinal twisting.

Examination of the flight control system confirmed flight control continuity from the cockpit controls to their respective control surfaces.

The flaps and landing gear were retracted.

Examination of the fuel selector revealed that the fuel selector was in the right fuel tank detent position and a liquid consistent with 100 low lead (100LL) aviation fuel was in the fuel selector. The right wing fuel tank contained approximately one inch of liquid consistent with 100LL. A similar liquid consistent with 100LL drained from the left wing tank when the left wing was overturned.

There was no evidence of soot or fire damage within the cabin or on the underside of the engine cowling.

Examination of the engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The Hobbs meter indicated 2,588.9 hours, and the tachometer indicated 361.9 hours.


An autopsy of the pilot was conducted by the Office of the Medical Examiner, Summit County, Akron, Ohio.

The Federal Aviation Administration Final Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was negative for all substances tested.


The FAA and Textron Lycoming were parties to the investigation.