NTSB Identification: CHI01FA025.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, October 24, 2000 in Gaylord, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-200, registration: N15900
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 airplane was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain during a precision instrument approach. The wreckage was located 0.66 nautical miles (nm) left of the course centerline and 2.44 nm from the runway threshold. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident with a visibility of 1/4 statute mile (sm) and a vertical visibility of 100 feet above ground level (agl). No anomalies were found with the airplane, engine, and systems that could be identified as existing prior to impact. Subsequent to the accident, the instrument approach was flight-tested and was fully operational with no discrepancies. The landing minimums for the instrument approach were a cloud height of 200 feet agl and a visibility of 1/2 statute mile. Air traffic control (ATC) did not issue the current weather conditions to the pilot or verify that the pilot had the current weather conditions prior to issuing the clearance for the instrument approach. The pilot was not current for operations in instrument meteorological conditions.

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

The pilot not maintaining proper glideslope and localizer alignment during the precision instrument approach, the pilot continuing flight below the decision height, the pilot not performing a missed approach, and the pilot not maintaining altitude/clearance from the trees and terrain. Contributing factors to the accident were the air traffic controller not issuing the current weather conditions to the pilot prior to the approach clearance, the weather conditions being below the instrument approach landing minimums, the pilot's lack of recent experience in instrument flight rules (IFR) operations and the pilot disregarding federal regulations regarding instrument currency.

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