NTSB Identification: MIA00FA066.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 09, 2000 in MOUNT PLEASANT, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2000
Aircraft: Mooney M20M, registration: N2135X
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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.

The pilot was cleared for a night instrument approach in instrument conditions. A witness who was waiting for the pilot at the airport heard the airplane fly over the airport flying towards a residential area, but could not see the airplane due to fog. Witnesses in the residential area observed the airplane descend out of the fog, pull up about 40-degrees, and reenter the fog in a steep left bank with slow airspeed. The airplane was observed descending out of the fog in a 70-degree left bank. An increase in engine power was heard, the airplane disappeared from view and was heard to impact water and a marshy area. Examination of the airframe, flight controls, engine assembly and accessories revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. Toxicology results revealed the pilot was impaired due to drugs.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed (VSO) while maneuv ering on a night instrument approach in instrument conditions. This resulted in an inadvertent in-flight loss of control (stall/spin), and subsequent in-flight collision with a swamp. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's impairment due to marihuana.

Full narrative available

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