The Airplane Impacted Open Desert Terrain About 56 Miles Northwest Of The Marana Regional Airport

Location: Marana, AZ Accident Number: WPR22FA073
Date & Time: December 31, 2021, 13:30 Local Registration: N6796N
Aircraft: Mooney M20C Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On December 31, 2021, about 1330 mountain standard time, a Mooney M20C, N6796N, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Marana, Arizona. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

Family of the pilot reported that he had departed Marana Regional Airport (AVQ), Marana, Arizona, on December 31, 2021, with an intended destination of French Valley Airport (F70), Murrieta/Temecula, California. Flight Service was notified by concerned family that the pilot had not arrived at the French Valley Airport and was 5 hours overdue.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Alert Notice (ALNOT) shortly after. The airplane wreckage was located by a Search and Rescue air unit the morning of January 4, 2022. There are no known witnesses to the accident sequence.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted open desert terrain about 56 miles northwest of the Marana Regional Airport at an elevation of 2,162 ft mean sea level. The wreckage debris path was about 960 ft. in length, and oriented on a heading of about 308°. All major structural components were observed throughout the debris path.

The AVQ airport’s automated weather observation station reported that, at 1335 mountain standard time, the wind was from 080° at 8 knots, visibility of 10 statute miles, ceiling broken at 3800 ft agl, overcast at 9000 ft agl, temperature of 19°C and dew point temperature of 10°C, altimeter setting of 29.54 inches of mercury.