NTSB Identification: CHI99FA047.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 04, 1998 in WATERFORD, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-31-350, registration: N59902
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 airplane collided with the tops of trees during an ILS approach near the middle marker. Witnesses heard the airplane strike the trees and a '...whop, whop, whop sound...' it made as it continued its flight. Other witnesses observed the airplane flying a curved, descending, flight path until the aircraft impacted the ground. Visibility was reported as 1/2 mile at the airport. The on-scene examination revealed no airframe or engine anomalies that would prevent flight. A section of the right propeller and other pieces of airframe were found along the approach path after initial impact with trees. The trees along the flight path were about 30 to 60 feet high. The tops of the taller trees were broken or had fresh cut marks on their limbs. The pilot's blood alcohol level was 216 (mg/dL, mg/hg).

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

the pilot's descent below the decision height for the instrument approach.

Full narrative available

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