NTSB Identification: ATL04FA107.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 03, 2004 in Cary, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Mooney M20M, registration: N91514
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.

Upon arriving at the destination airport, the flight was cleared for the ILS runway 5L approach. Since the pilot was not familiar with the destination airport, the pilot requested and was given radar vectors. Approach control informed the pilot when established on the localizer he was cleared for the ILS runway 5L approach. After multiple attempts to land at the Raleigh-Durham Airport, approach control provided the pilot with visual flight rules alternatives to the Greensboro and Winston-Salem Airports. The pilot requested to attempt another approach, and on the final attempt approach control lost radio and radar contact with the airplane. At 1545 the Wake County rescue located the downed airplane approximately 5-miles south of the Raleigh-Durham Airport in a small lake in an apartment complex. The debris from the airplane sank in the water on the northwest side of the lake in approximately 8 feet of water. Witnesses at the crash site reported seeing the airplane come in at a shallow angle turned sideways. The airplane collided with trees and then the lake. Examination of the wreckage site revealed freshly broken trees at the beginning of the wreckage path. Approximately 300 feet from the first broken tree there was another tree with freshly broken branches, and a ground scar along the shoreline of a small lake. Examination of the inboard left wing assembly revealed it was separated from at the mid-section of the wing and crush damaged. The post- accident examination of the airframe and the engine assembly did not reveal any flight control anomalies.

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

The pilot experienced spatial disorientation, which resulted in a loss of control and the subsequent collision with trees. Factors were low ceilings and fog.

Full narrative available

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