December 10, 2009, Port Mansfield, Texas, Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche


At approximately 2221 Central time, the airplane was destroyed after it collided with the water in Laguna Madre. The commercial pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. No flight plan was originally filed; however, the pilot filed an instrument flight rules flight plan while en route. Night instrument conditions prevailed.

As the airplane approached Port Mansfield, it was cleared for a visual approach. A preliminary review of radar data revealed the airplane flew west of the airport at an approximate altitude of 900 feet msl at 2220. Less than a minute later, when the airplane was southwest of the airport, it entered a left turn to the east-southeast before the data ended at 2221. At that time, the airplane was at an altitude of 700 feet and located over the shoreline. A commercial fisherman was approximately 10 miles south of the accident site. He reported the weather as a half-mile visibility and winds out of the north at 20 miles per hour with gusts.


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