NTSB Identification: MIA97FA232.
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Accident occurred Thursday, August 14, 1997 in DALTON, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/04/1998
Aircraft: Beech 200, registration: N74EJ
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 was cleared for a localizer approach by Atlanta Center & told to maintain 5,000 ft until crossing the final approach fix (FAF). Normal altitude at the FAF was 2,700 ft. The pilot was unable to land from this approach & performed a missed approach. He was handed off to Chattanooga Approach, then was cleared to cross the FAF at 3,000 ft & perform another localizer approach. About 1 mile from the FAF, the pilot was told to change to the airport advisory frequency. The pilot acknowledged, then there was no further communication with the aircraft. A short time later, witnesses heard the aircraft crash near the approach end of the runway. Examination of the crash site showed the aircraft had touched down in a grass area about 1,100 ft from the end of the runway, while on the localizer. Propeller slash marks showed both engines were operating at approach power & the aircraft was at approach speed. No evidence of precrash mechanical failure or malfunction of the aircraft structure, flight controls, systems, engines, or propellers was found. The 0621 weather was in part: 300 ft overcast & 1/2 mile visibility with fog. Minimum descent altitude (MDA) for the localizer approach was 1,180 ft msl; airport elevation was 710 ft. The pilot had flown 8 flight hrs, was on duty for 13.6 hrs the day before the accident, was off duty for about 6 hrs, & had about 4 hrs of sleep before the accident flight.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's improper IFR procedure, by failing to maintain the minimum descent altitude (MDA) during the ILS localizer approach, until the runway environment was in sight, which resulted in a collision with terrain short of the runway. Factors relating to the accident were: darkness, low ceiling, fog, pilot fatigue, and improper scheduling by the aircraft operator. Full narrative available
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