NTSB Identification: IAD96LA120.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 19, 1996 in STOWE, VT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 172, registration: N5091G
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While approaching from the southwest, the pilot was cleared for an NDB approach to the Morrisville Airport. To perform the approach, he was to proceed outbound (050 deg) from the initial approach fix (IAF), make a procedure turn at or above 4,000 ft within 10 nautical miles of the NDB, proceed inbound to the NDB on a course of 230 deg with a minimum altitude of 3,000 ft to the final approach fix (FAF), then fly a course of 223 deg for 2.4 miles to the airport with a minimum descent altitude of 2,000 ft. The pilot stated that he proceeded (outbound from the IAF) on a heading of 050 degrees for about two minutes, completed a procedure turn and took a heading of about 245 to 250 degrees to compensate for the wind conditions. He said he descended to 3000 ft, then 2500 ft after crossing the NDB. He said the needle swing seemed appropriate. However, he was off course. An FAA inspector reported that during the approach, a crosswind blew the airplane off-course to the east, which resulted in an impact with Elmore Mountain (southeast of the FAF). The pilot received his instrument rating on 4/13/96 and had accumulated 4.7 hrs of actual instrument time. The inspector stated that the pilot had made one ADF approach in non-mountainous terrain since the issuance of his instrument rating.

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

failure of the pilot to follow proper IFR procedures and to maintain proper terrain clearance (altitude) during an NDB approach. Factors related to the accident were: the pilot's lack of instrument experience, low ceiling, and mountainous terrain.

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