NTSB Identification: CHI98FA022.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 23, 1997 in EMPORIA, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/29/2000
Aircraft: Mooney M20K, registration: N305RJ
Injuries: 3 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 airplane was on the second of a two leg IFR cross-country flight from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Emporia, Kansas, with an intermediate stop at Farmington, New Mexico. On contacting the Kansas City Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), the pilot was informed that Emporia weather was 10 miles visibility, and an overcast ceiling of 600 feet agl. At 1951 central daylight time (cdt), Kansas City ARTCC cleared the pilot for the VOR approach into the Emporia Municipal Airport. At 2002 cdt, the pilot reported that he was on the missed approach. The pilot requested another VOR approach. Kansas City ARTCC cleared the pilot for the approach, and told him to report 'established' on the approach. At 2014 cdt, the pilot reported that he was established inbound on the VOR approach. Kansas City ARTCC instructed the pilot to 'go over to advisory [frequency] and report cancellation on this frequency.' The pilot responded,' Okay, we'll go ahead and cancel IFR right now.' The airplane impacted the terrain, near Emporia Airport, at 2017 cdt. The pilot's logbook showed that he had 44.1 hours of actual instrument time. A pilot, who had departed the Emporia Airport at approximately 2000 cdt, described the weather as 'marginal, a ceiling of around 700 feet agl,' and the visibility as being 6 to 7 miles. Examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain an altitude above the minimum descent altitude for the approach. Factors contributing to this accident were the low ceiling, rain, and fog.

Full narrative available

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