NTSB Identification: NYC02FA044.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 31, 2001 in Armonk, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/04/2002
Aircraft: Raytheon BE-23-B24R, registration: N2173W
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 airplane departed on an IFR flight in VFR conditions. The takeoff, climbout, and initial cruise were normal. Approximately 35 minutes into the flight, ATC advised the pilot he was off course. The pilot responded he was trying to rejoin the airway. The controller instructed him to fly a heading, and when able, to proceed direct to the next VOR on his route. The controller also advised the pilot of a possible mode "C" problem. Radio contact was then lost for about 20 minutes. When contact was reestablished, the pilot reported having electrical problems, and that his radios were intermittent. The pilot added that he was climbing to 8,500 feet, and continuing to his destination, which was approximately 180 miles away. That was the last recorded transmission from the accident airplane. About 30 minutes later and approximately 110 miles short of his planned destination, the pilot started maneuvering to land at a local airport. The pilot of another airplane witnessed the airplane in a steep bank, just before the accident. The airplane impacted in a parking lot, and was partially consumed in a post crash fire. Examination of the wreckage revealed the airplane was configured for approach, and the landing gear was down. No preimpact failures were identified with the wreckage. Maintenance records showed that the airplane had failed an IFR certification inspection about 2 months before the accident, and that the wiring behind the instrument panel was "extremely bad." Examination of the alternator revealed that the brushes were worn asymmetrically consistent with a partial short in the rotor, or a rough slip ring. From the time the pilot first lost radio contact until the accident, the airplane passed within 25 nautical miles of approximately 20 public airports.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control.

Full narrative available

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