NTSB Identification: DEN88FA093.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 36826.
Accident occurred Friday, April 08, 1988 in HELENA, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/06/1989
Aircraft: CESSNA 310I, registration: N8008M
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 ACFT DEPD GLASGOW, MONTANA, WHERE THE PASSENGER (SECRETARY OF STATE FOR MONTANA) HAD BEEN CAMPAIGNING. INITIALLY, A VFR FLT PLAN HAD BEEN FILED; HOWEVER, DRG ARRIVAL AT HELENA, AN IFR FLT PLAN WAS FILED WHEN THE PLT REALIZED THE WX HAD DETERIORATED. THE FCST HAD INDICATED CHC OF CEILING 2500 BKN WITH LIGHT SNOW. THE PLT WAS CLRD FOR AN ILS RWY 27 APCH AT 2328 MDT. THE PLT ACKNOWLEDGED THE CLNC, BUT A SHORT TIME LATER, RADIO CTC WAS LOST. THE ACFT CRASHED ALONG THE ILS COURSE AFTER IT HAD PASSED THE FINAL APCH FIX/OUTER MARKER. WITNESSES RPRTD THAT A SNOW STORM BEGAN JUST BEFORE THE ACDNT OCCURRED AND THE VISIBILITY WAS NEAR ZERO DUE TO BLOWING SNOW. THE ACFT IMPACTED IN A LEFT WING LOW, NOSE LOW ATTITUDE. WITNESSES SAID THEY HEARD THE ACFT OPERATING AT HIGH RPM AND LOW ALTITUDE BEFORE THE CRASH, OR THAT THE ENG SOUND INCREASED BEFORE IMPACT. ONE WITNESS SAID THE ENG SOUND VARIED FM HIGH TO LOW RPM. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION WAS FND. THE PLT HAD LOGGED 2 HRS IN C-310 AND 3 INSTRUMENT HRS IN PREV 90 DAYS.

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

PROPER GLIDEPATH..NOT MAINTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

DESCENT..NOT CORRECTED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

SPATIAL DISORIENTATION..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT



Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..SNOW



Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..OBSCURATION



Contributing Factors

LACK OF RECENT INSTRUMENT TIME..PILOT IN COMMAND

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