December 12, 2010, Pearlington, Miss., Diamond DA40


The airplane was destroyed when it impacted a field at approximately 2200 Central time. The private pilot was fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.

At 2052, the pilot reported his destination in sight and ATC radar service was terminated. Between 2053 and 2201, radar data depicts the airplane making multiple circles with altitude variations from 8400 feet msl at 2100 to 700 feet msl at 2138. At approximately 2200, the last mode C target on the airplane was recorded at 2000 feet msl.

A witness reported hearing an airplane flying overhead between 2100 and 2200. The engines changing pitch made him immediately look up. He saw what appeared to be a single-engine airplane doing loops over his house. Conditions were very clear, so he was able to see the airplanes silhouette and the two white strobe lights under its wing tips.

The lights disappeared and only the white position light was seen. The engine pitch dropped as it was climbing. About three seconds later, he could see its red and green position lights and the strobes reappeared as the engine pitch increased again. He stood and observed the airplane as it made a couple more loops. Weather observed at the destination airport at 2055 included clear skies and 10 statute miles visibility.


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