Monday, June 13, 2022

Mooney M20K 305 Rocket, N305L: Fatal accident occurred June 10, 2022 near Camarillo Airport (KCMA), Ventura County, California

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. 

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

305L Air Holdings LLC

Location: Camarillo, California
Accident Number: WPR22FA210
Date and Time: June 10, 2022, 08:03 Local
Registration: N305L
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On June 10, 2022, about 0803 Pacific daylight time, a Mooney M20K, N305L was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Camarillo, California. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. 

The pilot had flown in from his home base of Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT) the day before the accident to play golf in the Camarillo area, and the accident flight was to be his return trip. About 0730 he contacted Leidos Flight Service and requested an abbreviated weather briefing. The briefer stated that a marine layer was present in Camarillo, and the pilot responded that it was, “socked in”. He requested cloud top information and was provided with the closest pilot report (PIREP), which indicated 700 ft cloud tops at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) which was along the coast, about 40 miles to the east. The pilot responded, “there you go”, and after receiving information on a local temporary flight restriction (TFR), he asked how he should file a VFR-on-top flight plan, and if he could file it with the briefer. The briefer stated that he would need to file an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan, with a VFR-on-top clearance, and that they could do it immediately.

With the flight plan filed, at 0749 the pilot contacted the Camarillo tower controller. Weather at the time included calm wind, visibility of 4 miles, and 300 ft overcast ceilings and mist.

The controller provided the pilot with the IFR clearance to DVT, with instructions to turn right to 275° after departure for radar vectors, climb and maintain 3,000 ft, and expect 7,000 ft, 5 mins after departure. The pilot replied, but had omitted the initial 3,000 ft altitude instruction, and was corrected by the controller. About 8 mins later, the pilot responded that he was ready to taxi, and was given instructions to taxi to runway 26 via taxiways F and A. Over the next few minutes, the pilot began to taxi, but appeared to be using taxiway G. He told the controller that this was the first time he had flown from CMT and was given amended taxi instructions to the runway 26 runup area.

At 0801, the pilot was cleared for takeoff, and about 90 seconds later was given instructions to contact the departure controller. The pilot responded, however he did not contact the departure controller. About one minute later, a controller from Southern California TRACON (SCT) called the CMT tower controller to ask if the airplane had taken off, because they had not made contact, and had not seen the airplane on their radar console.

Multiple witnesses driving along Route 101, which was a freeway located parallel to the departure runway and about ½ mile north, reported seeing a low flying airplane travelling at high speed from south to north. They stated that the airplane then collided with the ground just past the freeway, and a fireball ensued. A video from a dashboard mounted camera from one of the witnesses corroborated their accounts and revealed that the airplane was flying just above the height of adjoining power lines. It did not appear to be trailing any smoke or vapors prior to impact.

The first point of impact was identified by a wing-shaped imprint at the top wall of a building located south of the freeway, and one mile west-northwest of the departure end of runway 26. The imprint was about 50 ft above the ground, and its shape corresponded to a 15° right-wing low impact attitude. The outboard section of the right wing and aileron were located on the buildings flat roof. A trail of debris consisting of wing skin fragments and the right flap continued on a heading of 035 degrees, across the freeway to a secondary impact point in a strawberry field, 750 feet beyond.

The debris beyond the secondary impact point consisted of the propeller, cabin skin fragments, and flight instruments, all leading to the main wreckage, which was on the same heading, about 250 ft downrange. The airframe sustained extensive impact and thermal damage through to the leading edge of the tail assembly. Impact and thermally damaged remnants of the entire left wing, along with the inboard section of the right wing remained attached to the center of the cabin.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N305L
Model/Series: M20K 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: IMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCMA,71 ft msl
Observation Time: 07:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C /14°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 300 ft AGL
Visibility: 4 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR/IFR
Departure Point: Camarillo, CA (CMA)
Destination: Phoenix, AZ (DVT)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 34.223557,-119.12531

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances shortly after departure striking the roof of a building. 

Date: 10-JUN-22
Time: 15:00:00Z
Regis#: N305L
Aircraft Make: MOONEY
Aircraft Model: M20K
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew: 1 fatal
Pax: 0
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

Front Royal-Warren County Airport (KFRR), Virginia: Judge rules for county in lawsuit

A judge recently ruled against an airplane pilot who claimed a former Front Royal Warren County Airport manager violated a contract and then defamed him.

Retired Judge Dennis L. Hupp ruled mostly in favor of Rock Skowbo and Cass Aviation in a lawsuit brought on by a pilot who sought hangar space and flying lessons at the facility.

Nicholas Chaillan and One Team One Flight LLC claims in a three-count complaint filed in Warren County Circuit Court on March 2 that Skowbo and his company, Cass Aviation, breached a contract, committed tortious interference and defamed him.

Hupp sustained the county’s demurrers or challenges to two counts against the county claiming breach of contract. The judge dismissed one count of the complaint as it pertains to the county with prejudice, meaning the plaintiff cannot refile the count. Hupp sustained, in part, and overruled in part, a demurrer filed by Skowbo and Cass Aviation to one of the counts in the complaint.

Chaillan owns and serves as the sole member of Warren County-based One Team One Flight LLC, registered in Delaware. Front Royal attorney Andrew P. Hill represents the plaintiff. The complaint names Cass Aviation LLC, then-airport manager Rock Skowbo and Warren County as defendants.

Chaillan’s three-count complaint alleges breach of contract, tortious interference with a contract and defamation. The plaintiffs demurred, or challenged, each of the claims.

Andrew P. Hill represented the plaintiffs. Martin Schubert and Stephanie S. Ryan represented Warren County and Skowbo-Cass Aviation, respectively. Parties presented arguments before Hupp at a hearing on May 18 after which the judge ruled on the motions. Hupp granted the plaintiffs until Friday to file an amended complaint.

Ryan explained by phone on Wednesday that Chaillan voluntarily dismissed the county from his claim of tortious interference. The judge addressed Chaillan’s defamation claim against Skowbo and found that all but two of the statements cited by the plaintiff fail as a matter of law because they are opinions, Ryan said. Statements made that are known to be false can be defamatory, Ryan said.

Skowbo worked as the airport manager under a contract with the county, Director of Public Works Mike Berry states in a March 17 email to the Northern Virginia Daily. The county has since hired Jake Snider to serve as airport superintendent.

Chaillan sought judgment against the defendants for monetary damages of at least $89,600 for breach of contract or that the defendants be ordered to perform under the contract with the plaintiff to provide a hangar for his aircraft. The plaintiff asks that, in the alternative, the court grant that the defendants pay at least $57,100 for tortious interference with contract. Challain also seeks $250,000 in compensatory damages and $100,000 in punitive damages against Skowbo and/or Cass Aviation for defamation.