Feb. 9, Odessa, Fla. / Mooney 201


At 19:20 EST, a Mooney M20J struck a pole and crashed while on final approach to runway 26 at Tampa Bay Executive Airport, killing the pilot. A CFI who was at the approach end of runway 26 preparing to take off with a student pilot said the Mooney attempted to contact Unicom. The CFI responded that Unicom was closed and advised that runway 26 was the active. The accident pilot said he wanted to use runway 35, which did not exist at the airport. The CFI saw the Mooney fly over the airport from the north and the pilot announced a left downwind. The CFI advised the pilot that runway 26 had right traffic, and the pilot asked several times where the airport was even as he was overflying it. The CFI took off on runway 26 and saw the Mooney eventually enter the pattern. The accident pilot announced turning base, and the CFI then saw a flash and fire. The aircraft collided with a utility pole 35 feet above the ground and about 1,500 feet short of the runway.


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