NTSB Identification: CEN09FA010
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 11, 2008 in Santa Teresa, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2009
Aircraft: MAULE MXT-7-180A, registration: N4257C
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.

Witnesses observed the airplane taxi and perform an intersection takeoff directly towards an isolated thunderstorm located off the departure end of the runway. The airplane appeared to climb to 150 to 200 feet above the ground before disappearing from view as it went into the storm. One witness stated that the airplane's wings were rocking back and forth and that it appeared the pilot was having difficulty controlling the airplane, just before it went out of view. Five to ten minutes later, after the storm moved past, smoke was seen rising approximately one mile west of the airport. The airplane was destroyed by post impact fire. Weather radar data showed the thunderstorm was producing an approximate 60 knot wind shear at the time of the accident. There was a SIGMET active for the accident location and time which warned of the possibility of severe thunderstorms. There was no evidence the pilots obtained a weather briefing prior to taking off.

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

The pilot's decision to takeoff and fly into a thunderstorm.

Full narrative available

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