NTSB Identification: NYC06FA040.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 01, 2005 in Nantucket, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/2006
Aircraft: Beech B-55, registration: N64PW
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 instrument rated pilot obtained a weather briefing from a flight service station (FSS), filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan, and proceeded in a Beech B-55 on a return flight to his home airport. The flight was in radio and radar contact with air traffic control (ATC). As the airplane intercepted the localizer course for the instrument landing system (ILS) approach, the Approach controller vectored the airplane off the localizer for spacing. The controller then vectored the airplane back onto the localizer, and cleared the flight for the ILS approach. At that time, the airplane was approximately 2 miles prior to the final approach fix (FAF), at 300 feet above the crossing altitude, and a groundspeed of 140 knots. The controller advised the pilot to contact the local air traffic control tower (ATCT), but did not provide a frequency. The controller was not required to provide the frequency, and recalled that the airplane was based at the destination airport. The airplane crossed the FAF at 300 feet above the crossing altitude, at a groundspeed of 110 knots. The airplane tracked the localizer course above the glideslope, and then flew below the glideslope during the approach. The Automated Radar Terminal System (ARTS) generated the first of two Minimum Safe Altitude Warning (MSAW) alerts. At the time, the airplane was 600 to 700 feet agl; and a second MSAW alert was generated when the airplane was approximately 200 feet agl. The Approach and ATCT controllers were required to provide those warnings to the accident pilot; however, they did not. At 200 feet, the pilot asked the Approach controller for the local ATCT frequency. The Approach controller advised the pilot of the frequency, but radar contact and radio communication were lost when the airplane impacted the Atlantic Ocean approximately 1 mile from the airport. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, with an overcast ceiling of 400 feet, and visibility 2 1/2 miles in light rain and mist.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain the proper glidepath during the instrument approach, which resulted in controlled flight into water. Factors were the failure of the air traffic controllers to issue minimum safe altitude warnings, night lighting conditions, and a low ceiling.

Full narrative available

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