July 7, 2011, Watsonville, Calif., Mooney M20F Executive 21


At about 1920 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a parking lot and a building shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and the three passengers received fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to several eyewitnesses, the airplane departed Runway 20. The climb angle after takeoff appeared “steep.” The airplane commenced a very rapid left roll when it was approximately 500 feet above the threshold of Runway 2. The airplane appeared to roll until it was “nearly inverted” and the nose “dropped” so that it was pointing towards the ground. It descended rapidly, and completed about two “tight turns” or “spirals” before it appeared to begin to recover and then disappeared behind trees. Ground scars indicate the airplane first impacted a parking lot about 700 feet southeast of the threshold of Runway 2, slid about 130 feet and struck the building.


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