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A Mooney M20R aircraft was on its final approach into a Leesburg, Virginia, airport when it crashed about a mile short of the runway, killing the pilot. There were no other passengers on board. Several witnesses described seeing the plane complete a series of unusual maneuvers during its descent, before crashing to the ground, nose-first.
The pilot, who bought the plane from a Mooney factory less than a year before the crash, had experienced problems with it from the time it was delivered. The problems, which included a malfunctioning directional gyro and compass system, likely were the result an “over voltage” event while the plane was at the factory. Because of the mechanical issues, extensive post-delivery repairs were required. Despite these repairs, and despite the fact that Mooney reassured the pilot that his ‘new’ airplane was airworthy, it crashed because of design and manufacture defects.
The deceased was a 50-year-old surgeon, survived by his wife.