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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 68363
Last updated: 19 April 2020
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Date:30-SEP-2009
Time:12:37
Type:Silhouette image of generic M20T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Mooney M20M / 257 TLS Bravo
Owner/operator:N400DE, LLC.
Registration: N400DE
C/n / msn: 27-0320
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:3 miles southeast of Albany, IN -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Grand Rapids, MI (KGRR)
Destination airport:Grand Rapids, MI (KGRR)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The pilot became unresponsive to the air traffic controller after his last radio transmission, made as the airplane was climbing through 24,000 feet. The airplane leveled off at its assigned cruise altitude of 25,000 feet and continued northbound to a navigational fix, where it made a planned course reversal to the south and proceeded back toward the departure airport. A plot of the radar track data was consistent with the airplane being flown by its autopilot. A military F-16 fighter jet pilot, who had intercepted and escorted the flight, noted that the accident pilot was lying against the pilot-side cockpit window, unresponsive and possibly hypoxic. The airplane continued on a southerly course for over an hour, after which it entered a series of right turns that were followed by a gradual descent on a north-northeasterly course. After reaching 22,000 feet, the airplane descended rapidly to the ground, colliding with trees and terrain before a ground fire ensued.

The postaccident investigation revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have prevented the normal operation of the airplane. The extensive impact and fire damage to the airplane's oxygen system prevented a determination of whether the pilot was actively using supplemental oxygen during the accident flight. A review of the flights since the most recent oxygen cylinder service, completed about 6 months before the accident, indicated that under normal usage there should have been sufficient oxygen available for the accident flight. A review of available medical information did not reveal any findings that would have resulted in pilot incapacitation, including a cardiovascular event, carbon monoxide poisoning, or the use of unapproved medication, illegal drugs, or alcohol.
Probable Cause: The incapacitation of the pilot during high-altitude cruise flight for undetermined reasons.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20090930X40500&key=1


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
30-Sep-2009 12:12 Stonesurfer Added
30-Sep-2009 12:21 slowkid Updated
30-Sep-2009 21:01 Stonesurfer Updated
02-Oct-2009 14:54 RobertMB Updated
16-Oct-2009 10:04 Anon. Updated
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
02-Dec-2017 16:17 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
19-Apr-2020 07:55 Anon. Updated [Embed code]

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