NTSB Identification: CHI88FA082.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 37902.
Accident occurred Thursday, March 24, 1988 in ALMA, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/28/1989
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-250, registration: N54848
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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.

DRG ARRIVAL, THE PLT WAS PROVIDED VECTORS FOR AN SDF RWY 9 APCH. NO WX RPRT WAS AVAILABLE FOR THE DESTN (ALMA), BUT THE PLT WAS ADZD THE SAGINAW WX WAS: INDEFINITE CEILING, 200' OBSCURED, VIS 1/2 MI WITH FOG, TEMP 41, DEW POINT 31, WIND 100 DEG AT 8 KTS, ALTIMETER 29.90. THE PLT RPRTD THAT AFTER HE WAS CLRD FOR THE APCH, HE DSCNDD TO THE MIN DSCNT ALT (MDA) OF 1300' MSL BY USING THE AUTO-PLT. HE STATED THAT ABOUT 1 MIN PAST THE FINAL APCH FIX, HE HEARD A 'THUMP' WHICH HE THOUGHT TO BE A PSBL BIRD STRIKE. HE SAID HE INITIATED A MISSED APCH, BUT DID NOT RECALL WHETHER HE ADDED PWR OR DISENGAGED THE AUTO-PLT. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE ACFT DSCNDD INTO TREES & CRASHED ABT 2.5 MI WEST OF THE ARPT. AN EXAM OF THE CRASH SITE REVEALED THE ACFT HAD COLLIDED WITH TREETOPS, THEN PULLED UP & CONTD OVER TREES FOR ABOUT 400' & FINALLY DSCNDD STEEPLY INTO THE WOODED AREA & CRASHED IN A RIVER. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE ACFT WAS FOUND. ELEV OF THE CRASH SITE WAS RPRTD AS 754'.

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

MINIMUM DESCENT ALTITUDE..NOT MAINTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

OBJECT..TREE(S)

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