IAD97LA031
IAD97LA031

On December 11, 1996, approximately 1620 eastern standard time, a Mooney, M20F, N3424N, was destroyed when it collided with the terrain during an approach to the Wellsville Municipal, Tarantine Field, Wellsville, New York. The certificated private pilot/owner and the passenger in the front seat received fatal injuries, the passenger in the back seat was seriously injured. Instrument meteorological conditions existed and a instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91, which originated from Erie International Airport, Erie, Pennsylvania, at 1530.

The surviving passenger reported that he occupied the front right seat when he flew with the pilot from Pottstown, Pennsylvania, to Erie, Pennsylvania, to pickup another passenger. The surviving passenger stated that he was seated in the back for the flight from Erie to Wellsville, New York. He stated that there was no indication from the pilot that anything was wrong, the engine sounded good, and there was no ice on the airplane. He remembered the pilot utilizing his Global Positioning System (GPS) during the flight. During the approach into the Wellsville Airport, the surviving passenger reported that he heard the pilot state, "I can see the ground" and gave the thumbs up signal. This statement was followed by the front right seat passenger exclaiming, "Look out for the trees, pull up, pull up!" The surviving passenger reported that there was no power application and they crashed shortly afterwards.

The weather recorded by the Wellsville Municipal Automated Surface Observation System was: 1/4 mile visibility with light fog; Temperature: 35 degrees Fahrenheit, Dewpoint: 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

A Federal Aviation Administration Inspector examined the wreckage. The examination revealed that the wreckage was approximately 400 feet south and 300 feet west of the departure end of runway 28. All pieces of the wreckage were in close vicinity and the path through the trees descending to the wreckage was parallel to the runway orientation. The Inspector confirmed flight control continuity and reported finding a yoke mounted GPS attached to the pilot's control column. The Wellsville Municipal, Tarantine Field had a Localizer Approach for runway 28. The Minimum Descent Altitude for this non precision approach with the local altimeter setting was 2,520 feet mean sea level, with the airport elevation at 2123 feet. The FAA conducted a flight check of the Localizer following the accident and found it to be operational.

The toxicological testing report from the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed negative for drugs and alcohol for the pilot.

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