NTSB Identification: SEA99FA028.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 08, 1999 in PORTLAND, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Pacific Aviation Composites LC 40-550FG, registration: N141LC
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.

Radar data and air traffic communications indicated that the pilot initially contacted approach control while the airport was under night visual conditions. Shortly after the initial contact, the weather conditions deteriorated and instrument meteorological conditions became effective. The pilot was advised of the weather conditions and given vectors to intercept the ILS 10L approach. As the aircraft was turning inbound to intercept the localizer, the air traffic controller notified the pilot that it appeared that he was aligned for the ILS 10R approach. The pilot advised the controller that he had tuned in the wrong frequency and asked the controller for the correct frequency. The controller informed the pilot of the correct frequency for the ILS 10L approach. Due to other air traffic, the controller instructed the pilot to turn to a northerly heading for vectors to the ILS 10L approach. The pilot complied with the controllers instructions and shortly thereafter was aligned for the ILS 10L approach. After the aircraft was established on the localizer and cleared to land, the flight course maintained a constant descent rate, magnetic heading and airspeed. Approximately one mile short of the runway, the course heading began to turn to the northeast of runway centerline. The last radar targets indicated that the aircraft continued to turn to the northeast and descend below radar coverage. The weather reported at the time of the accident and shortly after the accident, indicated that the ceilings conditions were below the approach minimums and both ceilings and visibility were deteriorating. Documentation of the wreckage that was recovered, indicated that the aircraft impacted the river in a nose low attitude. The pilot's flight logbook indicated that the pilot had recently been signed off for an instrument competency check that was performed under simulated flight conditions. The logbook indicated that the last flight logged under actual conditions was performed approximately seven years prior to the accident. The last simulated instrument flight was logged approximately three years prior to the accident.

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

Aircraft control was not maintained and the pilot's lack of total experience in type operation. Weather conditions reported ceilings below approach/landing minimums and a dark night condition were factors.

Full narrative available

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