NTSB Identification: MIA02FA045.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 12, 2001 in Jacksonville, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-260, registration: N7701J
Injuries: 4 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 airplane crashed during the missed approach segment of the instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 7 at Jacksonville International Airport (JAX). This was the third airport the pilot tried to land after unsuccessful attempts due to low clouds and visibilities at two other airports. During the ILS approach to JAX, the air traffic controller advised the pilot that two flights had landed earlier with each reporting breaking out of the clouds 50 to 100 feet above the decision height and initially only the approach lights being visible. The pilot subsequently radioed he was on a missed approach. The controller, and another flight on the ground later heard a partially unclear transmission with the pilot indicating his instruments were malfunctioning. Witnesses either heard or saw the airplane over fly the airport. Two witnesses stated they heard the sounds of the engine increase and one reported he thereafter heard the airplane turn north, circle several times, and descend followed by the sound of a crash. Recorded radar data indicate that before radar contact was lost the airplane did complete circling turns to the left while at the same time climbing to 1000 feet and then descending to 300 feet. Radar contact of the airplane was lost 2 miles south of the accident site. The airplane crashed in a wooded area and came to rest about 200 feet from the initial tree impact point. The examination of the airplane did not disclose evidence of mechanical malfunction.

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

The pilot becoming spatially disoriented and losing control of the airplane during a missed approach resulting in the airplane descending uncontrolled and colliding with trees and the ground.

Full narrative available

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