Mooney Accident in Maryland – Episode 143
Did get-there-itis and lack of preflight planning lead to the crash of a Mooney M20J into a power line tower in Montgomery County, Maryland on November 27? The Flight Safety Detectives think so.
The aircraft had taken off from Westchester County, New York, and was bound for the Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg. Around 5:40 PM, for reasons still under investigation, it crashed about a few miles away from the runway. The crash was close to home for Greg, who lives just four miles from the site.
John, Greg and Todd talk about the investigation ahead for the FAA and NTSB. They explore key questions:
- Did the pilot do proper preflight planning?
- Was the pilot monitoring the weather and taking appropriate action as it developed or was he trying to tuck under the weather?
- Was the pilot following proper procedures for the approach?
- What is this pilot’s history?
This event appears to be a perfect example of the need for preflight planning. The weather forecast called for rain and low visibility. The pilot should have planned alternatives if it was not safe to land at the Gaithersburg airport.
- Related accident from 1992 (PDF)
- ‘Foggy as pea soup’ | Pilot in plane that dangled from electric tower blames poor visibility for crash, WUSA9 article quotes Greg Feith
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