NTSB Identification: NYC06CA006.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 07, 2005 in Ithaca, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Mooney M20K, registration: N1163A
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While on a VOR approach, the pilot reported to the control tower that he was 3.5 miles from the airport. Shortly thereafter, the pilot saw the tops of trees about 50 feet in front of the airplane. Without sufficient time to arrest the descent, the airplane impacted trees and the ground resulting in substantial damage. The pilot additionally stated, "I can not really explain why I let the airplane descend too low. I felt comfortable with the approach throughout. I simply was too low, too far away from [the] airport."

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

The pilot's failure to comply with the published instrument approach procedure, which resulted in an in-flight collision with trees.

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