Accident Mooney M20R Ovation N13LV, Sunday 25 June 2023
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Date:Sunday 25 June 2023
Type:Silhouette image of generic M20P model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Mooney M20R Ovation
Owner/operator:J L Lucarelli DBA
Registration: N13LV
MSN: 29-0152
Year of manufacture:1998
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Oak Island-Cape Fear Regional Jetport (SUT/KSUT), Southport, NC -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Oak Island-Cape Fear Regional Jetport, NC (KSUT)
Destination airport:Myrtle Beach-Grand Strand Airport, SC (CRE/KCRE)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
On June 25, 2023, about 1620 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20R, N13LV, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Southport, North Carolina. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to a mechanic at Cape Fear Regional Jetport (SUT), Oak Island, North Carolina, the airplane had been in for maintenance since October 2022. The private pilot/owner had requested that the mechanic troubleshoot interior lighting, service the brakes, attach a standby vacuum hose, and repair an exhaust leak. The mechanic could not complete the work as he could not start and run-up the engine due to dead batteries.

When he inspected the batteries, he realized that they were unairworthy. Specifically, the airplane was designed with a 24-volt electrical system that utilized two 24-volt batteries; however, the mechanic found four 12-volt batteries installed. When the mechanic contacted the pilot about the discrepancy, the pilot instructed him to reinstall the four 12-volt batteries. The mechanic refused as it would have been an unapproved and unairworthy installation. The pilot then stated he wanted his airplane back. The mechanic told him that the airplane was unairworthy as he had not completed repairs on it, and also noted that it was unairworthy on the invoice.

Witnesses at the airport observed excessive white exhaust smoke and oil leaking from the airplane onto the ground, as it taxied from the mechanic’s hangar to runway 23 for takeoff. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot reported an engine failure on the common traffic advisory frequency and that he was returning to runway 23. Review of Federal Aviation Administration ADS-B data revealed that the airplane departed runway 23 about 1617 and flew a left circuit back to runway 23; however, it impacted a residential area about 1/2-mile prior to the runway threshold.

The wreckage came to rest in a residential yard, near the left rear side of the home, and a postcrash fire ensued; however, it did not ignite the home. The wreckage was laying on its right side, oriented about a 090° magnetic heading. An approximate 125-ft debris path was observed, beginning with the right aileron suspended in an approximate 40-ft tree, on a northwest course to the main wreckage. The left wing remained partially attached to the fuselage. The aileron and flap remained attached to the left wing. The flap was observed in an extended position; however, the flap control in the cockpit could not be identified. The right wing had separated and was resting underneath the left wing. The right aileron and flap had separated from the right wing. The flap was recovered near the right wing and the aileron was recovered from the tree. The landing gear was observed in an extended position. The empennage remained intact and oil streaks were noted on the underside. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit via push-pull tubes to all flight control surfaces, except for the separated right wing, where aileron continuity was confirmed to the wing root. The cockpit and cabin were consumed by fire.

The engine came to rest inverted, and the propeller remained attached to the engine. An oil sump accessory port plug was observed loose, with oily blue stained baffling material resting below it. Additionally, the No. 4 connecting rod had protruded through the top of the engine case. A check of the oil dipstick revealed no measurable oil in the engine.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA23FA273
Status: Preliminary report
Download report: Preliminary report


NTSB (photo)


Revision history:

26-Jun-2023 04:45 harro Updated
26-Jun-2023 05:11 RobertMB Updated
27-Jun-2023 15:42 Captain Adam Updated
28-Jun-2023 05:46 Anon. Updated

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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