Airplane Experienced A Partial Loss Of Engine Power

Location: Stillwater, OK Accident Number: CEN22LA255
Date & Time: June 18, 2022, 09:45 Local Registration: N5895Q
Aircraft: Mooney M20E Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On June 18, 2022, about 0945 central daylight time, a Mooney M20E airplane, N5895Q, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near  Stillwater, Oklahoma. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that about 20 to 25 minutes into the flight, while in cruise about 4,500 ft, the airplane experienced a partial loss of engine power. The power had been set to 2,400 RPM and 24” of manifold pressure and it decreased to 2,000 RPM and between 11 and 12” of manifold pressure. The pilot manipulated the throttle control, but the engine did not respond. He moved the fuel selector through all positions while moving the throttle, but there was still no response from the engine. Unable to maintain level flight, he set up for a forced landing to a highway. As he was about to land, he became distracted with avoiding a vehicle and did not extend the landing gear. After a soft touch down, he turned slightly left to keep the propeller from impacting the vehicle; the left wing impacted a barrier.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. A post-accident examination by a Federal Aviation Administration air safety inspector did not reveal any anomalies with the engine control system and throttle control continuity was established from the cockpit controls to the engine. The inspector did find that the induction air filter was oil soaked and felt “tacky” to the touch. The source of the oil could not be determined due to the disposition of the wreckage.

A detailed examination is pending.