NTSB Identification: CHI97FA058.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 21, 1997 in COTTAGE GROVE, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/1998
Aircraft: Mooney M20J, registration: N1160G
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 aircraft was destroyed when it collided with snow covered terrain during an ILS runway 32 approach to the St Paul Downtown Holman Field Airport. The pilot had planned to fly to Cambridge, Minnesota, where the airplane was based, but requested a diversion into Holman Field, due to weather. No abnormalities with any navigational equipment were found. A review of the airframe and engine did not reveal any abnormalities. Radar data indicated that the aircraft's altitude varied by more than 1,300 feet from the assigned altitude during the instrument approach. During the altitude deviations, the controller issued a heading change to the pilot. The pilot's logbook indicated that this was the pilot's first instrument approach, in actual IFR conditions, in this airplane. The pilot had flown 4.1 hours of actual instrument time in the past 2 years.

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

failure of the pilot to maintain control of the airplane during an ILS approach. Factors relating to the accident were: the IFR weather conditions, the pilot's lack of recent instrument experience, and the pilot's lack of familiarity in flying the accident aircraft.

Full narrative available

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