NTSB Identification: LAX97FA036.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Thursday, November 14, 1996 in VAN NUYS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 310I, registration: N8046M
Injuries: 1 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 pilot ascertained Burbank's weather had deteriorated and he diverted to Van Nuys. ATC issued the pilot an instrument clearance for the ILS 16R approach. The pilot proceeded inbound and ATC stated 'report canceling, I'll be monitoring.' When the airplane was north of the airport about 2,000 feet msl, the pilot informed ATC that he had the airport in sight. He did not request closure of his flight plan. The pilot descended to 900 feet, entered a fog bank, initiated a missed approach and climbed to 1,200 feet. The aircraft subsequently descended and impacted a taxiway near midfield and slid 700 feet where it collided with five parked airplanes. The impacts activated several ELTs. The controller took no action regarding the radar target's disappearance and the aircraft's instrument flight plan remained open. No FAA ground-based receiver recorded the ELT signals which were eventually heard by SARSAT. The airplane was found 4 hours after the crash, and after the pilot had succumbed to his injuries. The operator had failed to provide required training to the pilot who had a history of unsatisfactory instrument flying performance. A pilot on the ground reported that a fog bank moved over the airport from west to east at the time the aircraft was landing. The visibility was reported by the witness to be 20 feet at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain a climb following initiation of a missed approach in fog due to spatial disorientation, and his inadequate training by company personnel. Potential rescue was delayed due to the FAA radar controller's failure to follow established communication procedures for overdue aircraft.

Full narrative available

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