Preliminary Report: Engine shutdown precedes MU-2 crash

 - December 11, 2007, 7:02 AM

Mitsubishi MU-2, Englewood, Colo., Dec. 10, 2004–The pilot of an MU-2 declared an emergency after taking off from Centennial Airport, Denver. He said he had a problem and was “shutting down an engine” and needed to return to the airport. The controller cleared the pilot to land on Runway 35L or 35R. The airplane made a left turn for base to 35R but continued past the 35R centerline and then turned left toward 35R.

The controller noticed the airplane had passed Runway 35R and cleared the pilot to land
on Runway 28. After the airplane turned toward Runway 35R, the controller saw that the airplane’s landing lights were pointing straight down, and he lost sight of the airplane. The MU-2 crashed two miles south-southeast of the approach end of Runway 35R.

The aircraft was destroyed by fire and the pilot and a passenger were killed. Night VMC prevailed and the Part 135 scheduled cargo flight, operated by Flight Line, of Watkins, Colo., was headed to Salt Lake City on an IFR flight plan.