NTSB Identification: NYC00LA270.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 13, 2000 in SLOATSBURG, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2001
Aircraft: Beech A36, registration: N100XH
Injuries: 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 pilot reported that while flying in IMC, he was having difficulty with the autopilot. Specifically, he was having problems holding assigned headings, and engaging the autopilot. The airplane then began a rapid descent, but the pilot was able to recover once in VMC. Prior to the accident flight, the pilot experienced difficulty with another airplane. In that airplane, with a different model autopilot, he lost control while landing. According to representatives from the airplane and autopilot manufacturers, the pilot and owner complained about autopilot problems in the past. However, on at least two occasions prior to the accident flight, the owner or pilot of the airplane had been operating the autopilot while the airplane was outside the specifications for safe autopilot operation. Prior to the accident, three separate test flights did not reveal any malfunctions. After the accident, the pilot stated that he might have departed with the autopilot in the slaved nav heading disengaged mode. Subsequently, data retrieved from the autopilot did not indicate any malfunctions.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control. A factor was the pilot's diverted attention. Full narrative available
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