NTSB issue the preliminary report into an accident involving a Mooney M20C Mark 21, N5587Q, that occurred on January 28, 2023, at Tom B. David Field (KCZL), Calhoun, Georiga:

On January 28, 2023, about 1810 eastern standard time, a Mooney M20C, N5587Q, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident in Calhoun, Georgia. The flight instructor and pilot received minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The flight departed from Tom B David Field Airport (CZL), Calhoun, Georgia for a local flight. The pilot was acting as the pilot-in-command.

Prior to takeoff, a preflight check and run up was performed. Oil pressure, oil temperature, and vacuum suction were normal. When checking the magneto’s, the right magneto dropped 150 rpm. The flight instructor leaned the fuel mixture and ran the engine up to approximately 1,700 rpm for about a minute. He did this a couple of times until both magnetos dropped 125 rpm. They conducted several more magneto checks, and each resulted in both magnetos dropping 125 rpm. Normal operation of the engine was observed during the magneto checks.

After the preflight run up was completed, they proceeded to runway 17. Full throttle was applied, the oil temperature and pressure were in the green, and the engine sounded normal. They lifted off and started their climb. During the climb, the pilot retracted the landing gear and a few moments later while they were about 70 feet above the runway, there was a popping noise, the engine lost power, the engine rpm went to nearly zero, and they began to lose altitude.

They had not cleared the south end of the runway, so the flight instructor lowered the landing gear and the pilot pitched down and started descending. The airplane then touched down at the very end of the runway and the pilot applied the wheel brakes. There was not enough runway for them to stop, and the airplane skidded off the end of the runway into the grass and slid into an earth embankment. The airplane then went airborne briefly, rotated 90º to the left and came to rest a few hundred feet later.

At this point, the flight instructor unbuckled his lap belt, and saw flames near the pilot’s feet. The flight instructor then advised the pilot of the fire, they both egressed, and moved away from the airplane in a westerly direction in case there was an explosion.

Cursory examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the cabin had incurred significant fire damage after the pilot and flight instructor had egressed.

The wreckage was retained by the NTSB for examination.

Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C /-1°C

Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 210°

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