NTSB Identification: ATL82FID06
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 09, 1982 in NEWPORT NEWS, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/09/1983
Aircraft: CESSNA 402B, registration: N5218J
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 STATED THAT DURING HIS FIRST ILS APPROACH, THE LOCALIZER NEEDLE FLUCTUATED TO THE LEFT. HE MADE CORRECTIVE TURNS TO THE LEFT. WHEN HE BROKE OUT OF THE CLOUDS AT THE DECISION HEIGHT (DH), HE OBSERVED THE RUNWAY TO THE RIGHT AND MADE A MISSED APPROACH. AT THAT TIME, HE ASSUMED THAT HE MADE AN ERROR DUE TO A COCKPIT DISTRACTION WHEN HE TURNED ON HIS LANDING LIGHT. HE REPORTED THE SAME TYPE OF PROBLEM DURING HIS SECOND ILS APPROACH, EXCEPT THE FLUCTUATIONS WERE LARGER. AT THE DH, BOTH OF HIS ILS LOCALIZER NEEDLES SHOWED THAT HE WAS RIGHT OF COURSE. HE SAW A ROW OF LIGHTS TO HIS LEFT THAT HE THOUGHT WAS THE RUNWAY. AFTER HE TURNED LEFT AND DESCENDED, HE REALIZED THEY WERE STREET LIGHTS. DURING HIS CLIMB FOR ANOTHER APPROACH, THE RIGHT WING STRUCK A TREE. HE ENCOUNTERED THE SAME ILS PROBLEM ON A THIRD APPROACH, BUT LANDED SAFELY. A CHECK OF THE ILS TRANSMITTERS AND BOTH RECEIVERS REVEALED NO MALFUNCTION OR FAILURE. THE PLANE HAD AN AUTOPILOT FRONT/BACK SWITCH, WHICH WAS REPORTEDLY SET ON "FRONT".

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

IFR PROCEDURE..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..FOG


Contributing Factors

COMM/NAV EQUIPMENT,LOCALIZER RECEIVER..UNDETERMINED


Contributing Factors

OBJECT..TREE(S)

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