Purpose Of The Flight Was To “Warm Up The Oil” Because They Were Going To Change The Engine Oil

Location: Villa Rica, GA Accident Number: ERA22FA050
Date & Time: November 8, 2021, 12:57 Local Registration: N3284F
Aircraft: Mooney M20F Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On November 8, 2021, at 1257 eastern standard time, a Mooney M20F, N3284F, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Villa Rica, Georgia. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to a friend of the pilot who saw him prior to departure, the purpose of the flight was to “warm up the oil” because they were going to change the engine oil and check the cylinders compression in preparation for an upcoming annual inspection. He watched the airplane depart the traffic pattern area and did not hear any distress calls on the airport common traffic advisory frequency around the time of the accident.

According to preliminary automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane departed Earl L. Small Jr. Field/Stockmar Airport (20GA), Villa Rica, Georgia, at 1253:49. About 1254:50, the airplane departed the airport traffic pattern area and flew about 2 miles north on a 360° heading, until 1256:25. Then, the airplane flew west on a 273° heading for about 1 mile, entered a spiraling left descent, and impacted a wooded area about 3.3 miles from the airport at 1257:23. In the final 10 seconds of the accident flight, the airplane’s ground speed decreased from 62 knots to 45 knots, then increased to 62 knots, before decreasing to 43 knots, and finally the airspeed increased to 84 knots before the track data was lost. The last ADS-B return was about 80 ft from the accident site.

The airplane came to rest in a heavily wooded area, at an elevation of 1,020 ft, upright, and in a level attitude on a 240° heading. All major components of the airplane were located in the vicinity of the main wreckage. There were multiple trees near the main wreckage that did not exhibit any impact damage. There was no odor of fuel at the accident site.

The fuselage remained intact and was impact crushed. Flight control continuity was established from all flight control surfaces to the flight controls in the cockpit. The empennage remained attached to the fuselage and was twisted to the left. The horizontal stabilizers and elevators exhibited a small amount of wrinkling damage. The rudder and vertical stabilizer remained attached to the empennage. The vertical stabilizer was wrinkled. The wings
remained attached to the fuselage and both fuel tanks were breached. Both flaps were in an extended flap position.

The engine remained attached to the airframe and was removed to facilitate further examination. Crankshaft and valvetrain continuity were confirmed when the crankshaft was rotated through 360° of motion. Thumb compression and suction was attained on all cylinders. Fuel was noted in the fuel lines, fuel servo, fuel pump, and fuel manifold on the engine. The fuel injectors were removed and none of them were obstructed. The spark plugs were removed and all exhibited severe wear and were light grey in color. The magnetos were removed and sparked on all towers. The oil filter was removed, disassembled, and no debris was noted in the filter.

The propeller remained attached to the engine and was removed to facilitate examination. Both propeller blades remained attached to the hub. One propeller blade exhibited bending at the tip. The second propeller blade was curled, the tip was torn off, and the blade exhibited chordwise scratching. In addition, a root in the ground was cut at a 45° angle near the second propeller blade.

A Garmin 396 GPS and a JPI 700 engine data monitor were retained for data download.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov