NTSB Identification: ANC90FA021.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41608.
Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Friday, December 22, 1989 in BELUGA, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/08/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-31, registration: N302SC
Injuries: 1 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 WAS ON AN IFR FLT FM KENIA TO THE BELUGA ARPT. THE ARPT DID NOT HAVE AN INST APCH PROC, A CO-LOCATED NAVAID OR A CO-LOCATED INTXN OR FIX. RPRTDLY, PLTS WOULD ROUTINELY FILE IFR FOR THE RTE, FLY OBND FM KENAI FOR 34.5 MI, THEN ATMT VIS ACQUISITION OF THE ARPT. ON THIS FLT, ARTCC CLRD THE PLT TO FLY DRCT TO THE ARPT AT AN ALT OF 2000 FT. BFR RCHG THE ARPT, THE PLT ACKNOWLEDGED RCPT OF A CLNC TO CRUISE AT 2000 FT & TO RPRT CANCELLATION OF IFR, THEN THERE WAS NO FURTHER COMM BTN ARTCC & THE FLT. MODE C RADAR DATA SHOWED THE ACFT DSCNDD TO 600 FT AS IT WAS APCHG ABT 5 MI SOUTH OF THE BELUGA ARPT. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE ACFT FLEW PAST THE UNCTLD ARPT & CRASHED INTO TREES ABT 8 MI NW OF THE ARPT. MARKS ON THE TREES SHOWED THE ACFT WAS IN A RGT DSCNDING TURN ON AN EASTERLY HDG, WHEN IT CRASHED. ELEV OF THE CRASH SITE WAS 560 FT. MIN SAFE (IFR) ALT FOR THE BELUGA ARPT AREA WAS 2000 FT. THERE WERE INDCNS THAT THE DESTN WX WAS BELOW VFR CONDS. NO PREIMPACT MECHANICAL PROBLEM WAS FOUND THAT WOULD HAVE RESULTED IN THE ACDNT.

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

FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN PROPER ALTITUDE. DARKNESS AND ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE RELATED FACTORS.

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