NTSB Identification: MIA96LA174.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 03, 1996 in KINSTON, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/05/1998
Aircraft: Beech 58, registration: N23806
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

After being awake about 20 hrs, the pilot (plt) departed on a positioning flight (flt) at 0217 EDT after two previous flts; although, she said she contemplated 'staying the night in Raleigh because of the fatigue.' She used the aircraft (acft) heater, on the ground & during takeoff. She said that en route, she felt fatigued & contemplated returning to the departure airport, but continued flt. About 5 min before starting a VOR approach (apch), plt turned off the heater. Two times, while being vectored for apch, plt incorrectly read back the direction of turn (left vs right), but other details & radio transmissions were accurate & responsive. The plt said she fell asleep after putting gear down on apch Acft then collided with trees & the ground. Time of accident was about 0250 EDT. Postcrash fire erupted, but plt egressed with injuries that were considered minor. Investigators requested blood specimens to test for carboxyhemoglobin [carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning], but specimens were not provided. (Plt said that due to extreme pain, her doctor opted not to proceed with test.) Pressure testing of heater revealed leaks at a gasket & screw (where fuel nozzle was mounted) & at 2 of 3 cross-over tubes; but these were attributed to impact damage. No evidence was found of any preimpact heater failure or malfunction that would have allowed CO to have entered the cockpit. Two plts used the heater on previous flts, but neither of them noticed any heater problem or symptoms of CO poisoning. About 18 miles west, at 0255 EDT, the ceiling was 300 feet broken. MDA for the approach was 352 feet AGL (440 msl).

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

failure of the pilot to maintain minimum descent altitude (MDA) during approach because of fatigue.

Full narrative available

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