LAX01LA246
LAX01LA246

On July 12, 2001, at 1535 hours Pacific daylight time, a Mooney M20J, N4326H, collided with a pole while taxiing to parking at McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada. The airplane sustained substantial damage; however, the certificated private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 when the accident occurred. The personal cross-country flight had originated in Fullerton, California, and departed at an unknown time. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was on file.

According to the fixed base operator (FBO), the pilot was behind a "follow me" golf cart en route to parking. As the cart passed through an opening between a parked airplane on the right and a metal pole on the left, the left wing of the accident airplane struck the metal pole, as well as a nearby fire extinguisher. The lateral distance between the closest wing tip of the parked airplane on the right and the metal pole on the left was measured at 78 feet. The wing span on the accident airplane is 35 feet.

The pilot stated that he was behind the "follow me" golf cart, but struck the pole when he became distracted from ground control who was attempting to provide him with a telephone number to call after securing his airplane. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the controllers wanted to discuss an air space violation that had occurred while the pilot was en route to McCarran Field.

A postaccident inspection of the left wing by an FAA inspector revealed that four left wing ribs were bent back to the spar, and the spar was bent aft.


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