NTSB Identification: MIA05FA024.
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Accident occurred Thursday, November 04, 2004 in Key West, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2006
Aircraft: SOCATA TB 20, registration: N1905S
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.

The airplane departed with an IFR clearance from Runway 9, and after takeoff turned to a heading of 180 degrees and climbed to 1,900 feet. Approximately 25 seconds before the last radar target was recorded, the flight was cleared to turn right to a heading of 360 degrees. The recorded radar targets occurred every 12 seconds; there was no report of a failure or malfunction of the radar site at or after the last recorded radar target. There was no distress call made by the pilot. The airplane crashed into the Straits of Florida; the wreckage was located approximately .55 nautical mile and 278 degrees from the last recorded radar target. The fuselage and both wings were fragmented. No evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction was noted to the airframe, engine, or flight instruments. Additionally, no heat or fire damage was noted to any recovered piece of the wreckage. The airplane was equipped with a standby electrically controlled vacuum pump, and also a standby electrically operated attitude indicator installed on the co-pilot's side of the instrument panel. The pilot's and co-pilot's attitude indicators each powered by a separate source both depicted postaccident the airplane in a steep nose-down attitude and right bank angle of approximately 60 degrees. The turn coordinator also indicated a bank angle greater than standard rate. The tachometer and airspeed indications both exceeded maximum limitations. The instrument rated pilot had accumulated a total flight time of 829 hours, 16 hours of which were accumulated on the accident airplane from April to November of 2004. The pilot's most recent logbook could not be located and no information was obtained regarding the pilot's currency on flying by instruments. According to the aircraft logbook, a new engine-driven vacuum pump was installed in July 2003. Altimeter, automatic pressure altitude reporting system, and static pressure system inspections, as well as transponder inspections and tests due every 24 calendar months, were last recorded as occurring in October 2002. The airplane was scheduled for an annual inspection 4 days after the accident. Dark night conditions existed in the area where the airplane was lost from radar.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control as a result of spatial disorientation. A related factor was the dark, night conditions.

Full narrative available

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