NTSB Identification: NYC02FA055.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 31, 2002 in Chester, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/23/2002
Aircraft: Beech V35B, registration: N32BR
Injuries: 2 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 flew a GPS Rwy 35, circle-to-land runway 17 approach during night instrument meteorological conditions. A witness reported that the airplane's downwind leg was two to three times closer to the runway than normal. The airplane's turn radius to final approach was also much smaller than normal, and the turn was relatively "flat". The airplane appeared to be traveling at a relatively slow airspeed during the approach, and engine rpm did not increase during the turn. As the airplane turned toward the final approach course, the witness saw it "instantaneously" change from being relatively wings-level, to being wings-vertical, with the left wing pointing straight down and the right wing pointing straight up. He then lost sight of it, and almost immediately heard a "crunch". Examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane had impacted the ground almost vertically, and upon impact, was facing approximately the opposite direction of the landing runway. Weather at the time included winds from 080 degrees true at 6 knots, visibility 2 1/2 statute miles in mist, an overcast ceiling at 300 feet above ground level, and a temperature and dewpoint of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. No pre-impact mechanical malfunctions were found.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during the turn to final, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin. Factors included low ceilings and night lighting conditions. Full narrative available
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