NTSB Identification: NYC01FA064.
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Accident occurred Monday, January 08, 2001 in Bluefield, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 310R, registration: N123RA
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 pilot initiated an ILS approach during a period of light snow, and a ceiling of 400 feet. During the approach, a band of heavy snow, with reduced visibility, moved over the airport. The pilot reported established on the approach, then acknowledged a frequency change to the airport's common traffic advisory frequency. No further transmissions were received. Radar data revealed that the airplane joined the localizer outside the initial approach fix, and proceeded inbound, on course. Due to limited radar coverage, the last radar contact with the airplane was about 3/4 of a mile inside the final approach fix, still on course, about 1,850 feet above the airport. A witness, about 1/3 to 1/2 mile to the east of the airport, saw the airplane fly overhead at a very low altitude, then heard the engines rev up, and saw the airplane climb. The airplane disappeared into the falling snow, and the witness then heard the sound of a crash. Airplane wreckage was later found on rising terrain, about 1/2 nautical mile to the left of the runway's departure end. The landing gear and flaps were up, and the elevator was trimmed for a climb. Trees were initially cut at an ascending angle of about 5 degrees for approximately 50 feet, then a descending angle of about 5 degrees for another 250 feet. The wreckage elevation was approximately the same as the decision height for the ILS approach. There was no evidence of pre-accident mechanical failure.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to execute the published missed approach procedure. A factor was heavy snowfall during the approach.
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