March 16, Chesapeake, Va. / Cessna 340A


At about 09:50 EST, a Cessna 340A crashed shortly after takeoff from Chesapeake Municipal Airport, killing the pilot and passenger. A witness said she heard the pilot say over the Unicom that he would be making an emergency landing. Another witness said he observed the airplane take off about halfway down the 4,200-foot runway. About 3 to 5 minutes later, he heard a pulsating sound, like the throttle was being moved back and forth. He observed the airplane on the left side of the approach end to runway 5, about 500 feet above the ground. He then saw the airplane enter a 90 degree left bank. The airplane turned 180 degrees, maintaining altitude, and its nose dropped. The airplane then nosed up and entered a flat spin about 200 feet above the ground. A third witness saw the airplane come over the numbers at about 500 feet or less. The airplane then entered a left bank which increased to about a 90 degree bank angle. He noted that the airplanes left engine was feathered and the landing gear was retracted. The airplane then entered a spin and crashed.


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