NTSB Identification: CHI98LA072.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, December 23, 1997 in HASTINGS, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/15/1999
Aircraft: Piper PA-30/A, registration: N9WG
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The flight had originally departed from Nampa, Idaho, at 0830 mountain standard time (mst) with Mountain Home, Idaho, as a stopover airport, and Hastings, Nebraska, as the intended final destination airport. The pilot departed Cheyenne, Wyoming, about 1940 mst. At 2224 central standard time (cst), the pilot was briefed that the weather at Hastings indicated winds at 080 degrees at 4 knots, one quarter mile visibility, freezing fog, a few clouds at 100 feet, 4,200 foot overcast, temperature minus 2 degrees C, dew point minus 2 degrees C, and altimeter 29.87. At 2227, the pilot reported, 'Whiskey golf, we're gonna shoot an approach into Hastings, ah, if it's no good we'll, ah, do a missed and go somewhere else.' At 2250, the pilot reported, 'ah, Missed approach. I (want to) try it again.' The pilot received clearance to fly a second approach. At 2300 cst, the aircraft impacted an irrigation tower and wheel assembly that was located about 1/2 mile west of the airport. Both propellers indicated blade twist and chordwise scratching. The right seat passenger reported that the pilot had not indicated there was anything wrong with the airplane during the flight, she remembered that the pilot flew the second approach down to 2,300 feet or 2,350 feet on the altimeter and started to pull up on the airplane's yoke. The field elevation was 1,961 feet. The MDA was 2,360 feet. The altimeter was set at 29.84. During the flight, there had been no indications of altimeter error when the pilot was in contact with ATC.

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

The pilot's improper IFR procedure, by which he failed to maintain minimum descent altitude. Fog, a low ceiling, and night condition were a contributing factor.

Full narrative available

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