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N6879U accident description

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Tail numberN6879U
Accident dateJune 07, 1994
Aircraft typeMooney M20C
LocationWest Columbia, SC
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On Tuesday June 7, 1994, at 0135 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20C, N6879U, collided with trees during an instrument departure from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, West Columbia, South Carolina. The business flight operated under 14 CFR Part 91 with a valid instrument flight clearance; instrument weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was destroyed, and the private pilot was fatally injured. The flight departed West Columbia, at 0133 hours.

According to the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) at Darly Airport in Kite, Georgia, the pilot departed Kite at 0715 hours on June 5, 1994. The departure was delayed due to low ceilings and reduced visibility. The FBO and close friend of the pilot, stated that the original departure was scheduled for 0600 hours. The FBO further stated that the pilot planned the business flight to Lakewood, New Jersey, and intended a return to Kite in time for a business meeting on Tuesday morning at 0800 hours in Douglas, Georgia. Itinerary information of the pilot's flight to New Jersey and the subsequent flight to Newport News, Virginia, was not recovered.

At 1810, a man who identified himself as the pilot of N6879U, walked into the Newport News Flight Service Station, and stated that he planned an instrument flight from Newport News to West Columbia, South Carolina. The pilot stated that he had received a weather briefing earlier and needed an update of the current and forecasted thunderstorm activity along the intended route of flight. The pilot was given a standard weather briefing with emphasis on convective activity (See attached FAA Personnel Statements). After several weather updates, the pilot filed an instrument flight plan to West Columbia.

At 2152, the pilot requested and was issued an instrument flight clearance to Columbia, South Carolina. At 2203, the pilot was issued a takeoff clearance and instructed to contact Norfolk Departure. A review of air traffic control information disclosed that the enroute portion of the flight, from Newport News to Columbia, was uneventful and routine.

At 0054:52, after a surveillance radar approach, N6879U landed on runway 11 at Columbia Metropolitan Airport. After landing, the tower controller reported that he could not see the aircraft lights. After verifying the airplane's position on the airport, he saw the aircraft. After correcting some taxiing confusion, the pilot taxied to the ramp where the airplane was refueled with 10.1 gallons of aviation fuel. During the conversations with the line personnel and another pilot, the pilot did not report a problem with the airplane.

At 0126:42, the pilot requested an instrument clearance, and departed runway 29 at 0133. During the initial climb, radio contact was lost after the pilot reported that he had a "prob"; the pilot did not state what problem he was experiencing. Attempts by the Air Traffic Controller to establish radio contact failed; radar contact was never established. No further radio contact was recorded with the flight nor did the flight arrive at the destination airport. On June 8, 1994, at 0930, an air and ground search located the wreckage, on the airport, 3/4 mile northwest of the approach end of runway 11.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information on the pilot is included in this report at the data field labeled "First Pilot Information". The pilot's flight logs were not recovered for examination.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information on the airplane is contained in this report at the data field labeled "Aircraft Information. The aircraft and engine logs were not recovered for examination.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Instrument weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Weather information is contained in this report at the data field labeled "Weather Information". The pilot received several weather briefings before departing Newport News, and enroute updates (see attached FAA personnel statements).

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage site examination disclosed that debris from the airplane was scattered over an area 180 feet long and 35 feet wide. There was a narrow swath through the 75 foot tall trees. Debris from the right wing assembly was lodged in trees west of the main wreckage. The main wreckage rested inverted 130 feet east of the first freshly broken tree. The engine assembly separated from the airframe, and the propeller assembly separated from the engine.

All major aircraft structures and flight control surfaces were located within the wreckage distribution path. Flight control cables and control tubes were also located either attached to control surfaces or along the wreckage path. Wreckage debris from the airframe was scattered along a 090 degree magnetic heading from the first broken tree.

The main wreckage was wrapped around a tree east of the first broken tree. Examination of the wreckage failed to disclose mechanical problems with the airframe or the aircraft subsystems. No mechanical problems were discovered during the examination of the engine and propeller assemblies (see attached engine examination). The examination of the propeller blades revealed twisting from mid-span outboard to the tips. There were also chordwise scratches perpendicular to the leading edge of both blades.

Despite impact damage to the airframe, the attitude gyro was recovered for examination. The examination discovered rotational damage to both the stationary and rotational gyro components; dirt and other debris were lodged in the gyro housing (see attached gyro photographs #11.& #12.).

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Post mortem examination was of the pilot was conducted by Dr. Joe Sexton at the Newberry Memorial Hospital, Newberry, South Carolina, on February 9, 1994. The cause of death was reported as multiple trauma secondary to the aircraft accident. The toxicological examinations were negative for drugs and alcohol.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The wreckage was released to :

Mr. Royce Bosselman (Insurance Adjustor) AIG Aviation 100 colony Square Suite 1000 Atlanta, Georgia 30361

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.