NTSB Identification: FTW99FA074.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 29, 1999 in PEARCY, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2001
Aircraft: Beech 95-B55, registration: N260LH
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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.

During the global positioning system (GPS) runway 5 approach to Hot Springs Memorial Airport, in instrument meteorological conditions, the twin-engine airplane impacted mountainous terrain at 1,020 feet msl, about one nautical mile (nm) right of the final approach course, and approximately 9 nm southwest of the airport. According to the approach plate, the airplane should have been at an altitude no lower than 2,300 feet on this segment of the approach. The last radar hit recorded was at 1622:44, as the airplane was descending through 2,800 feet, 14.2 nautical miles southwest of the airport. Two witnesses located near the accident site reported that about 1630 they heard a small aircraft coming from southwest of their farm, heading towards them at a 'very low' altitude. They heard the aircraft for about 10 seconds, then the sound of the engines was 'gone.' The witnesses also reported that the weather was 'extremely foggy,' and that they could not see the top of the mountain located behind their property. The missed approach procedure for the approach calls for a climbing right turn to 3,000 feet. Examination of the accident site indicated the airplane impacted trees while in a right turn. No anomalies were found with the airframe or engines that would have prevented normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to maintain the minimum descent altitude during the instrument approach. Contributing factors were the pilot's failure to follow the instrument approach procedure, trees, mountainous terrain, low ceilings and foggy weather conditions.

Full narrative available

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