NTSB Identification: FTW99LA013.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 17, 1998 in RUSSELLVILLE, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/1999
Aircraft: Beech 65-A90, registration: N90GN
Injuries: 1 Minor,4 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 airplane impacted the ground following an inadvertent descent during a dark night visual approach. The pilot was aware of an active NOTAM (09-051), which reported that the runway lights for runway 07/25 were out of service. However, he had been told the lights might be returned to service by the time of his arrival. During the before landing checklist, the pilot extended the flaps to the 'full down instead of approach position,' which initiated an inadvertent descent. The pilot became distracted by his continued attempts to activate the runway lights. As the airplane descended below 1,400 feet msl, the altitude alert notified the pilot of the airplane's altitude. As the airplane turned onto the final approach leg at 900 feet msl, the pilot 'knew [he] was not lined up with the runway,' and would have to proceed to another airport. The pilot was wiping condensation [fog] from the front windshield when he noticed a blue reflection [taxiway lights]. The pilot initiated a go-around, and simultaneously, the airplane impacted the ground.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with the ground due to the pilot's improper use of the flaps and the ensuing inadvertent descent. Factors were the dark night conditions, the pilot's diverted attention, and the foggy windshield.

Full narrative available

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