NTSB Identification: CHI89FA009.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39619.
Accident occurred Sunday, October 16, 1988 in LUDINGTON, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/16/1990
Aircraft: MOONEY M20J, registration: N58155
Injuries: 2 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.

SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF THE PILOT CONTACTED MINNEAPOLIS CENTER TO ACTIVATE AN IFR FLIGHT PLAN AND SUBSEQUENTLY REPORTED A COMPLETE GYRO FAILURE. THE PILOT WAS BEING GIVEN A NO-GYRO TURN TO THE NEAREST AVAILABLE AIRPORT WHEN THE AIRPLANE DISAPPEARED OFF RADAR. THE ACFT WAS RECOVERED IN A LAKE ALMOST DIRECTLY BENEATH THE LAST KNOWN RADAR LOCATION. POST ACCIDENT INSPECTION OF THE WRECKAGE REVEALED A SHEARED VACUUM PUMP SHAFT.

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

THE PILOT IN COMMAND FAILED TO MAINTAIN PROPER ALTITUDE UTILIZING BASIC FLIGHT INSTRUMENTS WHILE EXPERIENCING A LOSS OF GYRO INSTRUMENTS.

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