NTSB Identification: FTW02LA052.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 12, 2001 in Duncan, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-250, registration: N127CA
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The instrument rated commercial pilot received a weather briefing for a positioning flight. His weather briefing included an Airmet for IFR conditions, calm winds, visibility of 1/4 mile, fog, low ceilings, and matching temperature and dew points. The flight departed the airport and the pilot received radar vectors to the initial approach fix (IAF), was cleared for the localizer approach, and issued the altimeter setting. The IAF is 5.0 nautical miles from the runway threshold and the minimum decision altitude is 1,600 feet (503 feet agl), with a minimum approach visibility of 1 mile. Subsequently, the controller noted static on his radio frequency and a power fluctuation at the facility. The power company recorded a power fault. Radio contact could not be established with the pilot. The airplane struck power lines (38 feet 6 inches agl) and impacted the terrain short of the runway. Power line cables were found entangled about the fuselage and the horizontal stabilizer. Following the accident, the LOC approach was flight checked satisfactory by the FAA. The REIL's were inoperative. Flight control continuity was confirmed. The cockpit approach receivers, indicators, and communication equipment were checked and no anomalies were noted that would have affected the approach. No anomalies were found with the vacuum pumps, airframe, or engine that would have precluded operation prior to the accident.

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

The pilot's descent below the minimum descent altitude, and his failure to maintain obstacle clearance. Contributing factors were the below approach/landing minimum weather, the dark night conditions, and the inoperative REIL's.

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