NTSB Identification: LAX83FA274.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 22922.
Accident occurred Thursday, June 09, 1983 in DEATH VALLEY, CA
Aircraft: MOONEY M20J, registration: N3894H
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.

THE PLT INITIATED HIS TAKEOFF FROM THE DEATH VALLEY ARPT AT ABOUT 1530 HRS ON A HOT DAY. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE ACFT COLLIDEDWITH TREES ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE RWY & CRASHED. AN INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE ACFT HAD ANGLED TO THE LEFT PRIOR TO REACHING THE 1000 FT MARKER. DEPRESSIONS LOCATED LEFT OF THE RWY INDICATED THAT THE ACFT HAD BECOME AIRBORNE, DEPARTED THE RWY, THEN STRUCK THE GROUND 1036 FT FROM THE APCH END OF RWY 15. THE ACFT BECAME AIRBORNE AGAIN, CONTINUED TO THE LEFT & STRUCK AN 18 INCH MOUND OF DIRT, 1125 FT FROM THE APCH END OF THE RWY. AGAIN, THE ACFT BECAME AIRBORNE & STRUCK 2 MESQUITE TREES, THEN CRASHED & CAME TO REST 1380 FT FROM THE APCH END OF RWY 15, AND 230 FT EAST OF THE RWY CENTERLINE. ACCORDING TO THE PLT, HE DID NOT LOOK AT THE AIRSPEED INDICATOR DURING THE TAKEOFF ROLL. IT WAS HIS HABIT TO 'GO BY FEEL.' THE WIND HAD BEEN ERRATIC, BUT WAS LIGHT TO NON-EXISTENT MOST OF THE DAY. PREVIOUSLY, HIS LEFT LEG HAD BEEN AMPUTATED BELOW THE KNEE & HE HAD AN ARTIFICIAL LEG. HIS PLT CERTIFICATE WAS BASED ON HIS BRITISH LICENSE.

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

AIRSPEED INDICATOR..NOT USED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

IMPROPER USE OF PROCEDURE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

LIFT-OFF..PREMATURE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

STALL/MUSH..INADVERTENT..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..DIRT BANK/RISING EMBANKMENT


Contributing Factors

OBJECT..TREE(S)


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE


Contributing Factors

LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH GEOGRAPHIC AREA..PILOT IN COMMAND

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