NTSB Identification: NYC05FA109.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 27, 2005 in Groton, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 182Q, registration: N5155N
Injuries: 4 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 impacted water during its second ILS (Instrument Landing System) approach to runway 5. Review of recorded radar data revealed that during the first approach, the airplane made several excursions to the right and left of the inbound course centerline. A tower controller observed the airplane "break out" of the clouds at 200 feet, left of the runway centerline. The airplane appeared to be headed straight for the control tower when the flight radioed a request to conduct a "circle to land." The airplane then continued into a cloud layer, and the controller instructed the pilot to "execute the published missed approach." The last radar target recorded prior to initiation of the missed approach placed the airplane at a Mode C altitude of 100 feet msl, about 1/2 mile from the runway threshold and 1/2 mile left of the course centerline. The flight was instructed to contact approach control and then received vectors for a second ILS approach. About 30 minutes later, the airplane was again established on the ILS Runway 5 approach. The tower controller cleared the flight to land, which was acknowledged. The tower controller then observed a target on his radar scope, identified as the accident airplane, that appeared to be left of the final approach course. The controller informed the flight that the airplane was left of course; however, no response was received. Radar data for the second approach showed a track similar to the first approach with several excursions to the right and left of the inbound course centerline. The last recorded radar hit placed the airplane at a mode C altitude of 400 feet msl, about 1 and 1/2 miles from the runway threshold and slightly left of course. Several witnesses in the area of the accident site recalled hearing an airplane about the time of the accident. The engine sounded normal, until rpm increased, followed by the sound of an impact. None of the witnesses observed the airplane due to the low visibility in the area. About 8 minutes after the accident, a floating debris field was located about 1.15 miles from the approach end of runway 5, on a 051-degree bearing. Pilots who had conducted approaches to runway 5, both prior to and after the accident airplane's first approach to the runway, recalled breaking out of the cloud layer around 200 to 250 feet above the ground. None of the pilots recalled any abnormalities with the ILS while conducting an approach to runway 5. Damage observed on the recovered wreckage was consistent with the airplane impacting the water in an uncontrolled descent. Examination of the recovered wreckage revealed no evidence suggesting mechanical malfunction or failure.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control while executing an ILS (Instrument Landing System) approach to minimums.

Full narrative available

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