Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mooney M20J 201, N54PM, registered to and operated by the pilot: Fatal accident occurred July 28, 2016 near La Crosse Regional Airport (LSE), Wisconsin

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Analysis 

The commercial pilot was conducting a personal instrument flight rules cross-country flight in day instrument meteorological conditions. As the airplane neared the destination airport, the center air traffic controller working the flight cleared the airplane for an instrument landing system approach, vectored the airplane onto a course to intercept the localizer, and instructed the pilot to contact the airport's air traffic control tower. The pilot established contact with the tower controller and requested radar vectors to intercept the localizer. The tower was not radar-equipped so the tower controller instructed the pilot to change frequencies back to the center air traffic controller for radar vectors. The pilot responded to the instruction, but there were no further radio transmissions from the pilot on the center frequency or the tower frequency. The airplane impacted terrain on a south heading about 5.6 miles north/northeast of runway 18. The wreckage path length, separation of airplane structure, and component damage were consistent with a high-speed, uncontrolled impact with terrain. Examination of the airplane wreckage confirmed flight control continuity, and the propeller displayed signatures consistent with engine power at the time of impact. The attitude indicator gyro exhibited rotational signatures, and the engine-driven vacuum pump exhibited torsional overstress consistent with operation at the time of impact. The wreckage did not display any mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal airplane operation. An autopsy of the pilot was not performed, and no toxicology samples were available for testing. The pilot's logbook showed that his most recent instrument proficiency check took place about 3 years before the accident and that he did not meet recent instrument flight experience requirements for flight in instrument meteorological conditions. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
 The pilot's loss of airplane control during an instrument approach. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of instrument flight proficiency. 

Findings

Aircraft
Performance/control parameters - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Recent instrument experience - Pilot (Factor)

Environmental issues
Ceiling/visibility/precip - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-IFR initial approach
Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Uncontrolled descent
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.govN54PM

Location: Holmen, WI
Accident Number: CEN16FA295
Date & Time: 07/28/2016, 1138 CDT
Registration: N54PM
Aircraft: MOONEY M20J
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 28, 2016, about 1138 central daylight time, a Mooney M20J, N54PM, impacted terrain near Holmen, Wisconsin, while being vectored for an instrument approach to runway 18 at La Crosse Regional Airport (LSE), La Crosse, Wisconsin. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight that was operating on an instrument flight rules flight plan. Day instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated from Willmar Municipal Airport-John L Rice Field (BDH), Willmar, Minnesota, at 1024 and was destined for LSE.

A friend of the pilot stated that the pilot planned the flight a "few weeks" earlier. The friend reported that the pilot was going to pick him up at LSE and that they were going to fly to Appleton, Wisconsin, to buy tickets for the Oshkosh air show and then fly to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The friend said that he received a text message from the pilot at 1013 stating that he was ready for takeoff from BDH and would be in the air in about 10 minutes. According to the friend, the flight departed at 1024. He stated that, according to Flightaware, the flight was to land at 1137.

Minneapolis Center provided radar vectors to the pilot for the final approach course for the instrument landing system (ILS) runway 18 approach and then was instructed to contact LSE Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT). The pilot contacted LSE ATCT and reported that the airplane was over Mindi (Mindi was the locator outer marker for the ILS runway 18 approach and was located 6.6 miles north of runway 18.) The pilot then asked for radar vectors for the localizer. LSE ATCT instructed the pilot to maintain 4,000 feet and to contact Minneapolis Center for radar vectors. The pilot acknowledged the instruction. There were no further radio transmissions from the pilot.

A witness near the accident site stated that he heard the airplane going very fast about 1145 or 1150. He added that the weather was "bad," it was "misting." and the clouds were lower than 700 ft above ground level. He stated that he heard the engine running but could not tell where the engine sound was coming from. The engine then "quit." After the airplane's engine quit, 3 to 4 minutes elapsed and then he heard a "boom." 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/01/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/29/2015
Flight Time:  1455.5 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1019.8 hours (Total, this make and model), 1376.5 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1.2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

The pilot's logbook showed that his last instrument proficiency check, as specified in 14 CFR Part 61 section 57(d), which included a 1.0 hour biennial flight review, was dated September 7, 2013, and was conducted in the accident airplane. The last filled-in page of the pilot's logbook had flight entries dated from August 1 to May 31 with no year(s) entered; the previous logbook page had its last entry dated July 31, 2014. There was an endorsement at the back of the pilot's logbook for a biennial flight review that was dated November 29, 2015.

Title 14 CFR 61.57(c)(1) states that a person may act as pilot in command under IFR or weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for VFR only if:

"Within the 6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight, that person performed and logged at least the following tasks and iterations in an airplane, powered-lift, helicopter, or airship, as appropriate, for the instrument rating privileges to be maintained in actual weather conditions, or under simulated conditions using a view-limiting device that involves having performed the following—

(i) Six instrument approaches.

(ii) Holding procedures and tasks.

(iii) Intercepting and tracking courses through the use of navigational electronic systems."

Title 14 CFR 61.57(d) states that "a person who has failed to meet the instrument experience requirements of paragraph (c) for more than six calendar months may reestablish instrument currency only by completing an instrument proficiency check. The instrument proficiency check must consist of the areas of operation and instrument tasks required in the instrument rating practical test standards."

According to the Federal Aviation Administration publication, "Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC) Guidance," regulations for the biennial flight review require a minimum of 1 hour of ground training and 1 hour of flight training. The publication states that, while Part 61.57(d) does not stipulate a minimum time requirement for the IPC, a good rule of thumb is to plan at least 90 minutes of ground time and at least 2 hours of flight time for a solid evaluation of the pilot's instrument flying knowledge and skills. The publication further states that, depending on the pilot's level of instrument experience and currency, the instructor administering the IPC may want to plan on two or more separate sessions to complete an IPC. For pilots with little or no recent instrument flying experience, it is a good idea to schedule an initial session in an appropriate aircraft training device.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: MOONEY
Registration: N54PM
Model/Series: M20J
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1988
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 24-1677
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/04/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2740 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3294 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Textron Lycoming
ELT: C91  installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-A3B6D
Registered Owner: Pilot
Rated Power: 200 hp
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: LSE, 656 ft msl
Observation Time: 1053 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 20°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 19°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 700 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 360°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Willmar, MN (BDH)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: La Crosse, WI (LSE)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1024 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: La Crosse Regional Airport (LSE)
Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 656 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: ILS
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 43.978889, 91.213611 

The accident site was located about 5.6 miles north/northeast of runway 18 at LSE at an elevation of 805 ft msl. The wreckage path was about 800 ft in length and oriented on a north/south heading in a grass/corn field. The fuselage, wings, empennage, control surfaces, engine, and propeller were present along the wreckage path. At the northern edge of the wreckage path about a 35-ft-long by 6- to 10-ft-wide area of corn stalks were cut at an angle of about 45°, sloping down toward the east. The southern edge of the wreckage path contained the engine, which was separated from the airframe. The fuselage was located about 80 ft south of the cut corn stalks and was upright. The left and right wings were located about 6 ft north and 45 ft east of the fuselage, respectively. There was no evidence of soot or fire on the airframe, engine, or terrain.

Examination of the flight controls confirmed flight control continuity from the wing and empennage control surfaces to the cockpit controls through separations of the control system that were consistent with overload. The wing flaps were in the 0° position.

The base of the propeller hub was attached to the engine crankshaft with all the attachment bolts in place. The upper portion of the propeller hub was broken off, and its pieces were located along the wreckage path. The hub fracture surfaces exhibited 45° granular fracture faces consistent with overstress. Both propeller blades were separated from the hub. One propeller blade was buried near corn stalks near the northern edge of the wreckage path, and the other propeller blade was located about 35 ft from the corn stalks. Both propeller blades exhibited leading edge damage and chordwise scratching consistent with propeller rotation/engine power at impact.

The instrument panel was located about 37 ft south from the fuselage. The flight instruments were separated from the panel and were located along the wreckage path. The attitude indicator, which was vacuum driven, was broken apart exposing the gyro casing and gimbals. The gyro was separated from the casing and was not found during recovery of the airplane wreckage. The gyro casing showed circumferential smearing/scoring and was attached to the pitch and roll gimbals.

The engine-driven vacuum pump was attached to the engine accessory section. Removal of the vacuum pump showed that the vacuum pump's drive teeth were intact, but the drive was separated from its opaque plastic coupling, with separation features consistent with torsional overstress. The coupling exhibited counterclockwise witness marks (the drive rotates counterclockwise during engine operation as viewed from the rear of the engine).

The engine did not exhibit any mechanical anomalies that would have precluded engine operation.

Medical And Pathological Information

An autopsy was not performed, and no toxicology samples were available for testing. During the pilot's most recent aviation medical exam, no concerns were reported by the pilot and no significant issues were identified by the aviation medical examiner.


Loren Larson, who died in a crash July 28, 2016, stands by the Mooney M20J 201 he flew in an undated photograph from his Facebook page.




KERKHOVEN — The propeller was spinning and the plane's engine was running when an experienced pilot from Kerkhoven crashed his single-engine aircraft on July 28, 2016, into a cornfield northeast of the La Crosse, Wisconsin, airport. 

That's based on the analysis of wreckage found at the crash site where pilot Loren Larson, 55, of Kerkhoven, died, according to the final factual report on the accident by the National Transportation Safety Board.

It determined that "loss of control in flight'' was the defining event that caused the crash. The NTSB released its report Jan. 30 after a nearly 1½-year investigation.

Family members have been "watching and waiting'' for the report, Lynn Larson, brother of the victim, told the West Central Tribune. The determination of "loss of control in flight'' left him perplexed. His brother had over 20 years of experience as a pilot, he said.

Loren Larson had departed solo from the Willmar Municipal Airport in a rented Mooney airplane at 10:24 a.m. CDT. He was planning to land in La Crosse to pick up a friend. They were to fly to Appleton, Wisconsin, to buy tickets and then fly to the Oshkosh air show.

Due to cloud cover, Larson was going to make an instrument approach at the La Crosse airport. Instead, his plane impacted a cornfield at 11:38 a.m. CDT, about 5.6 miles northeast of the runway at the La Crosse Airport.

A witness told investigators that the weather was "bad,'' according to the accident report. It was misting at the time and clouds were lower than 700 feet above ground level.

The witness heard the plane's engine running, but could not tell where the sound was coming from. "The engine then quit." After the airplane's engine quit, three to four minutes elapsed and then he heard a boom,'' stated the report.

Larson had made radio contact with the La Crosse Regional Airport and had requested vector coordinates to make an instrument approach.

A transcript of the radio transmissions between the pilot and controllers indicates that an air traffic controller in La Crosse had instructed Larson to maintain his altitude at 4,000 feet. He provided Larson with the radio frequency to the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center. The Minneapolis Center had the plane on radar and was to provide the vector coordinates to Larson for the approach to Runway 18 at La Crosse.

Larson confirmed the radio frequency for contacting Minneapolis with the La Crosse Airport controller. He did not repeat the controller's order to maintain a 4,000-foot altitude.

Larson's radio transmission confirming the radio frequency was recorded at 16:38:23 Universal Time Coordinated, or moments before the crash is believed to have occurred.

Radio transmissions continued between the La Crosse and Minneapolis controllers, who were not aware of the crash until an emergency locator signal was received.

The Minneapolis Center told La Crosse that it had cleared Larson for the approach, but had not heard back from him. " ... We asked him if he had any issues. He said no. So I was just wondering if he had said anything to you about having any issues,'' stated the Minneapolis controller to La Crosse.

Repeated attempts by the La Crosse controller to contact Larson following this exchange did not produce a response.

The accident report indicated that Larson had previous training for making an instrument approach, but it was dated. The report stated that he should have completed a proficiency check within the previous six months of the flight, but had not.

An 800-foot-long wreckage path, running north and south, was found at the accident site. At the northern edge of the wreckage path, an area of corn stalks — measuring about 35 feet long and 6 to 10 feet wide — was cut an an angle of about 45 degrees, sloping to the east.

There was no evidence of soot or fire on the airframe, engine or terrain. The left and right wings were located away from the plane's body. The wing flaps were in the 0-degree position.

Damage to the propellers was consistent with rotation and engine power at impact, the report stated. The engine did not exhibit any mechanical anomalies that would have precluded engine operation, according to the report.

The plane's instrument panel was located about 37 feet from the fuselage. The attitude indicator was broken apart and its gyro was not found.

An autopsy was not performed and no toxicology samples were available for testing. Larson's most recent aviation medical exam had found no health concerns.

http://www.wctrib.com

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA295
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 28, 2016 in Holmen, WI
Aircraft: MOONEY M20P, registration: N54PM
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 28, 2016, about 1138 central daylight time, a Mooney M20P, N54PM, impacted terrain near Holmen, Wisconsin during an instrument landing system approach runway 18 at La Crosse Regional Airport (LSE), La Crosse, Wisconsin. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The commercial instrument rated pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight that was on an instrument flight rules flight plan. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed about the time of the accident. The flight originated from Willmar Municipal Airport-John L Rice Field (BDH), Willmar, Minnesota and was destined to LSE.




KERKHOVEN - A flying enthusiast from Kerkhoven known for his good humor and love for friends has died in a plane crash in Lac Crosse County, Wisconsin.

Loren Larson, 56, of Kerkhoven, died Thursday when the Mooney M-20 plane he was flying crashed in a cornfield in the northern portion of the county, according to information released by the Lac Crosse County Sheriff’s Department.

The crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

He was the only person aboard the plane at the time of the crash.

The Minneapolis Air Traffic Control alerted authorities in La Crosse of a missing plane at 12:13 p.m. Thursday, according to the La Crosse Tribune. The paper reported the plane’s flight log indicated at 11:37 a.m. the plane was flying 181 mph at 4,700 feet, and then dropped 1,200 feet in 2 minutes.

Larson was planning to land at the airport in La Crosse to pick up a friend.

They were headed for the Appleton International Airport in Appleton, Wisconsin, to attend the Experimental Aircraft Aviation airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Larson had more than 20 years of experience as a pilot, according to his brother and sister-in-law, Lynn and Shellie Larson of DeGraf.

Shellie said Larson had a passion for flying.

He kept a hangar at the Willmar Airport, and is well known in the area’s flying community.

A graduate of the Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa High School, Larson has been a long-time resident of Kerkhoven and well known in the community as well. He worked for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad for the past 36 or 37 years, in recent years as a foreman, according to the family members.

Larson never married, but enjoyed time with his nieces and nephews and family members, as well as his many friends, said Shellie.

Along with flying, he enjoyed hunting and fishing and just having fun with others. “He was bubbly all the time,’’ she said.

Funeral services are pending with the Zniewski Funeral Home in Benson. Survivors include his mother, Laura Larson of Kerkhoven, and his brother and sister-in-law, Lynn and Shellie Larson.


Source:  http://www.wctrib.com







Federal investigators will lead the probe into a plane crash in La Crosse County that has killed a Minnesota pilot.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will try to figure out why the aircraft 56-year-old Loren Larson of Kerkhoven, Minn., was flying crashed into a field outside of Holmen, Wis., Thursday.

The plane was reported missing around noon Thursday, when it failed to make an intended landing at the La Crosse Regional Airport.

The wreckage was found later that evening and Larson's body was found nearby.

This is the first flying-related death in La Crosse County since 2008, when three men died aboard a medical helicopter that crashed in Medary, Wis.

The NTSB also investigated an accident in Caledonia, Minn., three years ago, when a plane crashed while apparently trying to land at an airport, killing three of the four men aboard.

Around 8 a.m. Thursday, another plane crashed in a field near the Fond du Lac, Wis., airport. The single-engine aircraft bounced a couple times and then cartwheeled according to witnesses. 

Its 78-year-old pilot and 71-year-old passengers were both critically injured.

EARLIER REPORT:

HOLMEN, Wis. -- Searchers in La Crosse County have found the wreckage of a plane near Holmen, and they also report finding the body of the plane's pilot nearby. 

A plane had been reported missing around noon, and the wreck was discovered late in the day, close to County Highway D. 

The sheriff's office says the missing plane had been scheduled to land in La Crosse on the way to Appleton.

Reports had come in about people who saw planes flying low to the ground in the afternoon.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

About three dozen people searched a 4-square-mile wooded area until it was found.

A signal from the pilot's cell phone was used to help locate the plane.

Source:  http://www.1410wizm.com







STEVENSTOWN — A single-engine airplane bound for the La Crosse Regional Airport crashed today near Stevenstown in northern La Crosse County. The plane's pilot was not found in the wreckage, but authorities found a body nearby.

Emergency authorities are at the scene on Hwy. D, south of Stevenstown.

Minneapolis air traffic controllers alerted La Crosse County authorities at 12:15 p.m. today that a single-engine aircraft, which is registered in Minnesota, had fallen off radar. The pilot, believed to be the only person on board, was planning a scheduled stop in La Crosse, according to La Crosse County Sheriff Chief Deputy Jeff Wolf.

About 1:45 p.m., authorities were able to get information from a cellphone aboard the plane that showed it was located near Stevenstown.

Crews at 4:15 p.m. began a line search from Hwy. V to William Severson Road. They found the plane about 6:15 p.m. The Civil Air Patrol’s La Crosse squadron is assisting with the search.

It’s believed the pilot left a Twin Cities airport, with a planned stop in La Crosse before heading to Appleton, Wis. The pilot did not report any problems before the plane disappeared from radar, according to authorities.

Authorities have set up a command post at Lewis Valley Church in Stevenstown. Assisting with the search were Farmington and Holmen first responders, the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department, the Wisconsin State Patrol and Tri-State Ambulance Service.

Source:  http://lacrossetribune.com






STEVENSTOWN — Authorities are searching northern La Crosse County for a missing airplane that was bound for the La Crosse Regional Airport.

Minneapolis air traffic controllers alerted La Crosse County authorities at 12:15 p.m. today that a single-engine aircraft, which is registered in Minnesota, had fallen off radar. 

The pilot, who is believed to be the only person on board, was planning a scheduled stop in La Crosse, according to La Crosse County Sheriff Chief Deputy Jeff Wolf.

At about 1:45 p.m., authorities were able to get information from a cellphone aboard the plane that showed it was located near Stevenstown.

Crews at 4:15 p.m. began a line search from Hwy. V to William Severson Road.  The Civil Air Patrol’s La Crosse squadron is assisting with the search.

It’s believed the pilot left a Twin Cities airport, with a planned stop in La Crosse before heading to Appleton, Wisconsin. 

The pilot did not report any problems before the plane disappeared from radar, according to authorities.

Authorities have set up a command post at Lewis Valley Church in Stevenstown. 

Assisting with the search are Farmington and Holmen first responders, the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department, the Wisconsin State Patrol and Tri-State Ambulance Service.

The most recent aviation crash in La Crosse County was May 10, 2008, when a medical helicopter crashed into a bluff side, killing all three people aboard, according to the National Transportation Safety Board’s accident database. The last crash in the Coulee Region was in August 2014, when a helicopter went down while dusting crops near Tomah, injuring the pilot.

Source:  http://lacrossetribune.com

LA CROSSE CO., Wis. (WKBT) -  Authorities searching for a missing plane in northern La Crosse Co. have located the wreckage.

The plane was found near the area of County Hwy. D and Anderson Rd., northeast of Holmen.

La Crosse Co. Sheriff's Dept. Chief Deputy Jeff Wolf tells News 8 that only the male pilot was believed to be on board the single-engine plane.

Wolf also says a body was found outside of the wreckage, which is believed to be the pilot.

Previous Story:

Officials say they received a cell phone ping from the missing airplane at approximately 1:45 P.M. pinpointing it to the Farmington area.

A ground search is in progress with the Civil Air Patrol surrounding a designated 4 mile radius.

There has been no contact with the pilot or the passenger.

It is believed the airplane was heading to the Appleton airport with a stop in La Crosse.

Previous Story:

La Crosse County Sheriff's Department is searching for an airplane that went missing Thursday afternoon.

Officials are looking for the overdue single engine plane by the Lewis Valley Lutheran Church along County T near Holmen.

There is believed to be one occupant in the plane.

Source:  http://www.news8000.com

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