Jan. 9, Mount Pleasant, S.C. / Mooney M20M


At about 19:00 EST, a Mooney M20M crashed while making an instrument approach to East Cooper Airport, killing the pilot. The pilot was planning to make a visual approach first, then come back for an instrument approach if necessary. The pilot passed over the airport without seeing it, and then asked for the instrument approach. The controller vectored him to the approach course and cleared him for the approach. Shortly after that contact was lost. Two witnesses at the East Cooper Airport said it was very foggy and they could not see the airplane as it flew over the airport. A short time later, Charleston Approach called the airport and wanted to know if the Mooney had landed. Two witnesses near the crash site said the airplane came out of the fog in a 30-degree nose-down descent. The airplane pulled up (estimated at about a 40-degree nose-up attitude) and started a steep left turn with slow airspeed before going back into the cloud bank. The airplane was observed to come back out of the cloud bank in a descending 70-degree left bank.


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