NTSB Identification: LAX89FA013.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40088.
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 12, 1988 in SANTA MARIA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/16/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-300, registration: N6198H
Injuries: 3 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.

DRG ARRIVAL, THE PLT WAS PROVIDED VECTORS FOR A LOCALIZER/DME BACKCOURSE-ALPHA APCH TO RWY 30. VECTORS WERE PROVIDED TO INTERCEPT THE LOCALIZER BEFORE REACHING THE FINAL APCH FIX (CAMCO), WHICH WAS 6 MI FROM THE RWY. ALSO, THE PLT WAS INSTRUCTED TO MAINTAIN 3500' UNTIL ESTABLISHED ON THE LOCALIZER. AT 1003:52, HE WAS ADZD THAT RADAR SVC WAS TERMINATED &TO CONTACT THE TOWER. AT 1006, HE CONTACTED THE TOWER & ACKNOWLEDGED INSTRUCTIONS TO RPRT AT CAMCO, THEN THERE WAS NO FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH THE ACFT. SEARCH PROCEDURES WERE INITIATED & THE ACFT WAS SUBSEQUENTLY FOUND WHERE IT HAD CRASHED ABT 1/2 MI SW OF CAMCO AT AN ELEVATION OF APRX 1326'. MIN ALTITUDE FOR THE APCH WAS 3000' UNTIL PASSING CAMCO, THEN THE MIN ALTITUDE WAS 1680' UNTIL REACHING 'PATER' WHICH WAS 2.2 MI FROM THE RWY. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE ACFT OR ENG WAS FOUND. THE PILOT HAD LOGGED 5.4 ACTUAL INSTRUMENT HOURS AND 6 INSTRUMENT APPROACHES IN THE PRECEDING 6 MOS. HIS LOG DID NOT RECORD ANY EXPERIENCE WITH BACKCOURSE APPROACHES.

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

THE PILOT FAILED TO FOLLOW THE CORRECT I.F.R. PROCEDURES WHEREAS HE DESCENDED BELOW THE FINAL APPROACH FIX ALTITUDE.

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