Pilot Rotated Just Short Of The Displaced Threshold And According To The Witness, Barely Cleared The Fence

Location: Dinsmore, CA Accident Number: WPR21FA272
Date & Time: July 15, 2021, 11:54 Local Registration: N4474H
Aircraft: Mooney M20J Injuries: 4 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On July 15, 2021, at 1154 Pacific daylight time, a Mooney M20J airplane, N4474H, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Dinsmore, California. The pilot, the pilotrated passenger and two other passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Pa rt 91 personal flight.

Review of radar data revealed that the flight originated from Fullerton Municipal Airport (FUL), Fullerton, California at 0700. According to a family member, the pilot and the pilot rated passenger departed for Perris Valley Airport (L65), Perris, California to pick up two rear passengers who were interested in purchasing a land parcel in Humboldt County, California.

About 0730, the flight departed L65 northwest bound and climbed to a cruise altitude between 6,500 and 7,000 ft above ground level. Ground speed averaged about 130-140 kts for the first half of the flight, slowly increasing to between 140-160 kts later. Track data was lost about 1110 about 4-5 nm southeast of Dinsmore Airport (D63), Dinsmore, California.

A witness, located 0.25 miles east from the departure end of runway 09 at D63, observed the accident airplane circling the area around the airport twice before it landed on runway 27 (witness reported winds from the west). He then observed the airplane taxi down runway 09 before it had made a complete stop mid-runway and three individuals disembarked. When all three individuals boarded the airplane again, the pilot taxied towards the arrival end of runway 09. The airplane accelerated down the runway 09; the pilot rotated just short of the displaced threshold and according to the witness, barely cleared the fence. The rotation was not smooth, and it appeared as the pilot suddenly pulled the nose up (“jerked it”).

A video from a security camera located 300 ft east of the departure end of runway 09 revealed that the airplane took off towards the east. The wreckage was located about 1,600 ft beyond the departure end of runway 09 on a heading of 126°. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane’s right wing impacted a tall redwood tree. Upon impact, the right wing separated and fell on the ground underneath the tree. The airplane came to rest inverted about 120 ft and, on the heading of 170°, from the first point of impact.

The wreckage was secured for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov