NTSB Identification: FTW96FA075.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 23, 1995 in CARLSBAD, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/17/1996
Aircraft: Aero Commander 112, registration: N1152J
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.

The instrument rated private pilot was on an IFR flight from San Marcos, Texas, to Carlsbad, New Mexico. During an ILS RWY 3 approach to the Cavern City Air Terminal at Carlsbad, the pilot executed a missed approach. The pilot reported to ATC that his glide slope failed. While maneuvering in the clouds to reattempt an approach at Carlsbad, the pilot lost control of the airplane and impacted the terrain. A pilot reported the weather at Carlsbad was VFR below 1,100 feet with the tops of the clouds from 7200 to 7500 feet. The pilot was instructed to maintain 7,000 feet. The pilot made three 'mayday' calls prior to stating that, 'five two Juliet totally disoriented.' According to the pilot's log books he had accumulated 44 hours of instrument flight time of which 38.4 hours were logged as actual instrument weather time since July 20, 1993. The pilot's instrument flight instructor reported that whenever the pilot filed an IFR flight plan, he would log the flight as actual instrument weather time. Examination of the airplane and engine did not disclose any pre-mishap discrepancies. Due to the extent of damage, flight control continuity could not be established.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control due to spatial disorientation. Factors were the pilot's lack of total actual instrument weather time and the clouds.

Full narrative available

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