September 21, 2010, Visalia, Calif., Mooney M20C


At about 0940 Pacific time, the airplane experienced a partial loss of engine power seconds after taking off. The pilot reversed course and made a forced landing back at the airport. The airplane touched down hard and came to rest with a collapsed nose gear and a broken wing. The commercial pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported during initial climb, at about 80 feet above the runway, he heard a loud bang and the engines power reduced to about 1500 rpm. Unable to maintain flight, the pilot returned to the airport. The bottom spark plug of the number three cylinder was found separated from the cylinder.


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