Date & Time: Dec 10, 2017 at 1450 LT
Flight Phase:
Takeoff (climb)
Flight Type:
Crew on board:
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
Captain / Total flying hours:
Aircraft flight hours:
The aircraft collided with terrain shortly after takeoff from Miami Executive Airport (TMB), Miami, Florida. The pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The airplane was registered to the pilot who was operating it as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which was originating at the time of the accident. An employee of the flight school where the airplane was tied down stated that the pilot arrived about 1000 and began to preflight the airplane. About 1030, the pilot fueled the airplane, adding 105.2 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel. How the fuel was distributed between the airplane's three fuel tanks could not be determined. The pilot then taxied the airplane to the ramp in front of the flight school hangar where he kept a toolbox. The witness stated that the pilot was working on the airplane when he noticed a fuel leak and stated that he should have "fixed that" before he fueled the airplane. Both the employee and another witness stated that fuel was leaking from the aft fuselage belly area. They stated that the pilot had two or three 5-gallon orange buckets under the airplane to catch the fuel as he worked to stop the leak. Neither witness saw how much fuel was in the buckets or what the pilot did with the fuel. One witness asked the pilot if he fixed the problem, and the pilot responded that he had. The pilot was cleared for takeoff from runway 31 at 1426; however, the pilot aborted the takeoff and landed the airplane back on the runway. The controller asked the pilot if he needed assistance, to which the pilot replied, "… not sure what happened just yet but so far so good." The pilot then requested to taxi back to the runway to take off again. The airplane was cleared to take off at 1447, and 32 seconds later, the pilot declared an emergency. The controller cleared the pilot to land on any runway. Two pilots in an airplane waiting to take off from runway 31 stated that they did not notice anything unusual about the takeoff until they heard the pilot declare an emergency. They reported that the airplane was between 400 ft and 800 ft above the ground and in a left turn toward runway 9R. They stated that they thought the pilot was going to make it back to the runway, but then the left bank increased past 90° and the nose suddenly dropped. One of the pilots likened the maneuver to a stall/spin, Vmc roll, or snap roll-type maneuver. The airplane subsequently impacted a cornfield east of the approach end of runway 9R. The following day, a 12-ft-by-16-ft stain was observed on the ramp where the airplane had been parked. One of the witnesses stated that the stain was from fuel that leaked out of the airplane.