NTSB Identification: MIA95FA226.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 21, 1995 in SMYRNA, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/14/1996
Aircraft: MITSUBISHI MU-2B-35, registration: N309MA
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

A WITNESS STATED HE OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE ON CLIMBOUT FROM RUNWAY 32. THE AIRPLANE STARTED A RIGHT TURN ESTIMATED AT ABOUT 30 TO 45 DEGREE ANGLE OF BANK. THE AIRPLANE STOPPED CLIMBING AND BEGAN DESCENDING. SUBSEQUENTLY, IT COLLIDED WITH A TREE LINE, WHILE IN A RIGHT BANK, AND THEN IT IMPACTED THE GROUND. WEATHER CONDITIONS AT THE TIME OF ACCIDENT WERE DESCRIBED BY THE WITNESS AS VERY DARK, WITH NO AMBIENT LIGHT OR VISIBLE HORIZON. EXAMINATION OF THE AIRFRAME, FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM, ENGINE ASSEMBLY, AND PROPELLER ASSEMBLY REVEALED NO EVIDENCE OF A PRECRASH FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION. THE AUTOPILOT WAS FOUND IN THE OFF POSITION, AND THE AUTOPILOT CIRCUIT BREAKERS WERE NOT TRIPPED. THE PILOT AND PASSENGER WERE SERIOUSLY INJURED AND HAD NO MEMORY OF THE FLIGHT. A RADIO TRANSCRIPT REVEALED THAT AFTER TAKING OFF, THE FLIGHT HAD MADE ONE RADIO TRANSMISSION TO REQUEST AN IFR CLEARANCE.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN A PROPER CLIMB RATE AFTER TAKEOFF, AND HIS INADVERTENT ENTRY IN A DESCENDING SPIRAL, WHICH HE FAILED TO CORRECT. FACTORS RELATING TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: DARKNESS, AND THE PILOT BECOMING SPATIALLY DISORIENTED DURING THE INITIAL CLIMB WHILE ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN AN IFR CLEARANCE.

Full narrative available

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