NTSB Identification: NYC96FA002.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, October 04, 1995 in CATON, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/26/1997
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N9461E
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 arrival at night, the pilot contacted approach control (located in the control tower) and received vectors for an ILS runway 6 approach. During the first approach, the radar controller observed that the airplane drifted left of course and descended below the glideslope. This resulted in a low-altitude aural alarm, and the radar controller issued a low-altitude alert. The pilot made a missed approach and stated that he 'had a mismatch of the two compasses.' He was vectored for a second approach and was instructed to maintain 3,000 feet until established on the approach. The pilot was then transfered to tower frequency and was cleared to land. About 6 miles from the runway, the airplane again drifted left of course and another low-altitude alert was activated. The tower controller stated that he did not hear the low-altitude aural alarm, because he was focused on another airplane that was landing. A supervisor controller, situated on the other side of the control cab, heard the alarm and prompted the tower controller to take remedial action. However, the airplane crashed into an open field outside the outer marker in a wings-level attitude. Impact occurred at an elevation of 1,500 feet. The ILS glideslope crossing altitude at the outer marker was 2,800 feet. The extent of a 'mismatch of the two compasses' was not verified; no preimpact mechanical malfunction of the airplane was found. The pilot had flown nine instrument approaches since receiving an instrument competency check on 4/27/95 and had logged 15.7 hours of night flight time.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's improper IFR procedure by failing to maintain proper altitude, while on the initial approach for an ILS. A factor relating to the accident was: failure of the tower controller to issue a safety advisory. Full narrative available
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