NTSB Identification: CHI98FA082.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 14, 1998 in PINCKNEYVILLE, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2000
Aircraft: Beech 95-55, registration: N54643
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 told ATC that he was going to conduct a GPS approach to the destination airport with a landing on runway 18. The pilot subsequently received clearance for and initiated a night IFR approach to runway 18. The airplane impacted trees at the 75 foot level followed by impact with the terrain approximately 3.9 north of the airport. The accident debris track was on the extended centerline of the intended runway and the debris scattered on a heading in the direction of the runway. The elevation of the terrain in the area at the airport, and the accident site are similar. The owner of the airplane stated that the airplane was not equipped with a GPS system. The owner of the airplane said the pilot was known to own a handheld GPS unit. Identified at the accident site was a destroyed handheld GPS unit. The weather at the destination airport was described as 'marginal' for an approach with rain and fog according to the airplane owner who was present at the airport about the time of the accident.

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

The pilot descent below minimum descent altitude and his intentional operation with known deficiencies in equipment. Factors were the dark night, fog, rain, and the trees.

Full narrative available

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