NTSB Identification: SEA98FA023.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 12, 1997 in YAKIMA, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/28/1999
Aircraft: Aero Commander 690A, registration: N72VF
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 flight was operating into the Yakima airport at night during the period the airport operates as non-towered. Some witnesses reported the aircraft initially appeared lower than normal and that it descended and impacted the ground at a steep angle, and some witnesses reported an abrupt entry into the descent. The aircraft crashed 2.2 nautical miles east of the runway threshold, slightly right of the localizer course The pilot was 'cleared for approach' by air traffic control (ATC) and he subsequently initiated an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 27. The last radar position showed the aircraft approximately on the localizer, at glide slope intercept altitude, 9 nautical miles east of the airport. Three minutes after the last radar position, the pilot reported to ATC he had broken out and had the airport in sight, and canceled instrument flight rules (IFR). ATC then terminated service and approved a frequency change.. Ceiling was 1,500 feet overcast with 6 miles visibility in mist, with no significant icing forecast. No evidence of mechanical problems was found; however, much of the aircraft was consumed by an intense post-crash fire.

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

A loss of aircraft control for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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