NTSB Identification: LAX97FA049.
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Accident occurred Thursday, November 21, 1996 in SAN DIEGO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: Beech 95-C55, registration: N3774Q
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 (plt) got 2 weather (wx) briefings & was advised of deteriorating IFR wx in the destination area. When he filed an IFR flight plan, he told the briefer that he did not have his charts; the briefer looked up the airway designations & fixes for the plt. Near the destination, TRACON told the plt the airport (arpt) was below minimums, & that 3 aircraft (acft) had made missed approaches without seeing the ground. The controller then suggested nearby arpts that were above approach minimums as alternates. The plt said his car was parked at the arpt, & he wanted to make the approach. Radar data disclosed the acft flew the approach segments at least 1,000 higher than the charted altitudes at speeds between 180 & 155 kts. The acft overflew the missed approach point & arpt, then crossed the adjacent US/Mexico border before ATC could instruct the plt to make an immediate missed approach. The plt responded on the radio 'I guess I don't know where I am.' Radar data showed the acft climbing & descending rapidly as it reversed course, then descend to 300 ft agl as it neared the west arpt boundary. The plt transmitted that he thought he had the arpt in sight. Four seconds later, the acft impacted the departure end of the runway. Ground witnesses observed the acft in cloud bases, & they noted that it narrowly missed a building; it then turned sharply toward the runway before descending steeply to ground impact. The pilot's logbook did not show that he had met instrument currency requirements of 14 CFR 91.

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

the pilot's lack of situational awareness (becoming lost/disoriented during the approach), his failure to fly the approach as charted, and his failure to maintain aircraft control, while attempting an abrupt turn toward the airport, which led to an inadvertent stall/spin. The pilot's lack of recent instrument experience was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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