Accident Maule MXT-7-180 Star Rocket N4008J, Monday 24 April 2023
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Date:Monday 24 April 2023
Type:Silhouette image of generic M7 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Maule MXT-7-180 Star Rocket
Owner/operator:TAF Aerial Services LLC
Registration: N4008J
MSN: 14093C
Year of manufacture:1998
Total airframe hrs:12249 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:La Porte Municipal Airport (T41), La Porte, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Aerial patrol
Departure airport:La Porte Municipal Airport, TX (T41)
Destination airport:La Porte Municipal Airport, TX (T41)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
On April 24, 2023, about 0846 central daylight time, a Maule MXT-7-180 airplane was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Laporte, Texas. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 pipeline patrol flight.

According to the operator, the flight was intended to takeoff from Laporte, Municipal Airport (T41), Laporte, Texas, to aerial-inspect pipelines. Witnesses, who were flying in the pattern at T41, reported that they heard the pilot on Unicom frequency report that he had engine problems immediately after takeoff from runway 05 and was returning to the airport to land. The airplane was observed in a left turn by the witnesses and appeared to be lining up to land on runway 23. They saw the airplane make another “teardrop” left turn and descend toward the ground, about 300-feet from the approach end of runway 05. Automated Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) data of the airplane’s flight track confirmed the witnesses’ observations. After emergency responders arrived at the accident site, the pilot was air lifted to a local hospital with critical injuries.

The airplane impacted the flat, wet, and grass covered ground on a magnetic heading of about 091-degrees. Wreckage deformations and ground scars were consistent with airplane contact with the ground in a nose-low, right wing down attitude. The forward section of the cockpit was crushed upward. The engine was partially attached to its mounts and the propeller assembly was separated from the crank. The right wing was crushed aft from its leading edge along most of its span. The left wing was bent and crushed aft along the outer part of its leading edge.

About 40 gallons of aviation fuel was drained from the airplane wreckage. Fuel samples taken from the airplane’s fuel tanks were observed to be clear of contaminants, and fuel samples taken from the refueling source were found to be clear of contaminants. The airframe was examined, and no pre-impact anomalies were found. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces. Detailed examination of the engine, engine accessories, and carburetor did not reveal any pre-impact anomalies. However, the intake side of the airbox filter element was contaminated with unidentified dust/debris.

The nearest weather reporting facility (EFD), located about 6 miles from the accident site, issued a METAR at 0854 CDT.

METAR KEFD 241354Z 010009KT 10SM BKN070 14/09 A3008

According to the carburetor icing probability chart, with a temperature of 14 degrees C and a dew point of 9 degrees C (+5 dewpoint depression), the airplane was operating within the range conducive to serious carburetor icing at any power.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CEN23FA164
Status: Preliminary report
Download report: Preliminary report


NTSB (photo)



Revision history:

24-Apr-2023 16:24 Captain Adam Added
02-May-2023 19:25 Captain Adam Updated

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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