Socata TBM 700B, Mobile, Ala., April 24, 2003–At 8:12 p.m. CDT a Socata N705QD, registered to Fleet National Bank and operated by Quest Diagnostics, collided with a telephone pole, crashed and burned half a mile short of Runway 18 at the Mobile
Downtown Airport, Ala. The sole-occupant pilot was killed. N705QD was being operated under Part 91 on an IFR flight plan in VMC.
According to the Mobile Tower controller, the pilot reported that he had a “runaway engine” and subsequently stated that he was shutting the engine down. The pilot then stated he did not think he was going to make it to the airport. The controller made several attempts to contact the pilot but was unsuccessful.
The on-scene examination of the wreckage indicated the airplane had collided with the telephone pole 38 feet above the ground. The five-foot outboard section of the right wing assembly was torn from the airframe. The airplane rested inverted 278 feet from the pole. Examination of the airplane found that the cockpit and center section of the airframe had been consumed by fire from the engine firewall aft. The airplane and engine were recovered for further examination.