April 18, 2010, Zellwood, Fla., Maule M5-235C


The airplane suffered substantial damage when it impacted terrain at about 1915 Eastern time. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After liftoff, smoke was observed trailing from the airplane. It turned right, toward the pilots destination, and climbed to about 60 feet agl. By this time, the smoke stopped. The airplane cleared nearby trees by approximately 50 feet, turned again, rolled rapidly to the left, pitched nose-down and impacted the ground. The wreckage and ground scarring exhibited evidence the airplane had been rotating about its longitudinal axis during impact. No evidence of any pre-impact structural failure was discovered.


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