NTSB Identification: NYC04FA127.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 23, 2004 in Oxford, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/2005
Aircraft: Mooney M20J, registration: N5763W
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 pilot received a weather briefing for the night IFR flight, which included advisories for thunderstorms. The takeoff, climb, and cruise portions of the flight were uneventful. While approaching the destination airport, the pilot was informed that the control tower was closing, and an airplane ahead of him had just successfully landed. The pilot was provided the current weather at the destination airport, which included scattered clouds at 200 feet and a visibility of 2 miles. After being cleared for the ILS approach, the airplane intercepted the localizer course, crossed the final approach fix at 2,700 feet, and radar coverage was lost about 1,900 feet. Witnesses on the ground reported seeing the airplane flying low, near a thunderstorm and fog. The airplane's engine revved to high power as it descended into trees about 1/2-mile short of the runway, and 1,000 feet right of extended centerline. Weather reports confirmed precipitation and lightning near the destination airport about the time of the accident. Examination of the airplane did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical malfunctions.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain altitude/clearance during an instrument approach, which resulted in a collision with trees prior to the runway. Factors were nighttime conditions and cloud cover. Full narrative available
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