April 09, Vero Beach, Fla. / Piper Meridian


At about 12:08 eastern time, a Piper PA-46-500TP struck trees shortly after takeoff from Vero Beach Municipal Airport, killing the pilot and passenger. About 30 seconds after being cleared for takeoff, the pilot called and stated he needed to return to the airport and land. About five seconds later he reported that they were going down near the golf course. Witnesses said the airplane climbed to about 100-200 feet, at which point it appeared to slow down and start losing altitude. It struck trees on the edge of a golf course and burned. A witness on the golf course stated he did not see any smoke coming from the airplane as it flew over his head, and he stated the engine sounded like it was operating at full power just before the impact.


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