BFO94FA091
BFO94FA091

On June 7, 1994, at 1144 eastern daylight time, N4393H, a Mooney M20J, collided with the ground shortly after takeoff from runway 24 at Katama Airfield, Edgartown, Massachusetts. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The certificated private pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The aircraft was destroyed. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR 91 and was destined for Ogdensburg, New York.

According to the FAA, the pilot received his IFR Clearance from Marthas Vineyard Air Traffic Control Tower. His clearance included the entry into controlled airspace with a heading of 180 degrees and to maintain 4000 feet.

There were several witnesses who saw and heard the airplane. One of the witnesses who was at the airport inside the office stated that he heard the airplane's engine running before the pilot taxied to runway 24. He stated that there was a low ceiling of about 100 feet and the visibility was 1/2 mile in fog. The witness reported that the airplane departed runway 24 and he lost sight of the airplane briefly as it went into the clouds. He stated that shortly thereafter he saw the airplane in a right descending turn returning to the airport before it impacted the ground in a vertical attitude.

A second witness who was on the road adjacent to the airport stated that he saw the airplane flying low over the houses so he stopped to look at it. He stated that the airplane made a circle towards the airport and that it was, "fluttering and wobbling back and forth." The airplane impacted the ground about 300 feet southeast of runway 21 and was destroyed by fire.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight, at 41 degrees 21.51 minutes North and 70 degrees 31.47 minutes West.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate for single engine land with an instrument rating. According to FAA records, the pilot's total flight time listed by him on his last FAA medical certificate was "over 600 hours of flight time."

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The 1978 year model Mooney 20J airplane, serial no 24-0722 was equipped with a Lycoming IO360-A3B6D engine, serial no L19625- J1A. According to Paragon Air, Plymouth Airport, Massachusetts, the airplane accumulated over 1073 hours of flight time. The last annual inspection was completed on June 24, 1993, at which time the total time was 902 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

The 1545 surface weather observation for Marthas Vineyard Airport, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, about 5 miles northeast of the accident site was as follows:

Sky condition, partial obscuration; Ceiling, 300 feet sky obscured; visibility, 3 miles; temperature, 64 degrees (F); dew point, 62 degrees (F); wind condition 240 degrees at 18 knots; and altimeter, 29.71 inches.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunction. Examination of the accident site revealed the wreckage impacted the ground in a near vertical postion and was destroyed by fire. Fragments of plexiglass were found in the one foot crater created by the airplane. The wreckage was confined within the dimensions of the airplane and was oriented on a magnetic heading of 040 degrees.

The wreckage was intact. The two bladed propeller remained attached. One blade exhibited chordwise scratches while the other blade was melted midspan.

The left wing was destroyed by fire. The pitot tube cover that covers the pitot tube on the lower surface of the left wing was found covering the pitot tube. About 1 gallon of fuel was removed from the right wing. Flight control continuity was not established as the actuators and cables were consumed by fire. The landing gear was down and locked. The fuselage and instrument panel were destroyed by fire.

The engine was intact. All the cylinders were attached and secured to the crankcase. There was no evidence of puncture of the crankcase. All the major engine components were attached to the engine, but were destroyed by fire. All the spark plugs were installed in the cylinders. The top four spark plugs were removed from the cylinders and their electrodes were grayish in color.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A Medical Examination was done by Dr. Robert Nevin the Medical Examiner of Edgartown, Massachusetts, on June 8, 1994. Toxicological tests did not detect alcohol, drugs, or carbon monoxide.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to the Mooney Manual, it states in part that a pitot tube mounted on lower surface of the left wing, picks up airspeed indicator ram air.

The wreckage was released to Walter Liona of United States Aviation Underwriters, the insurance representative on June 17, 1994.

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