NTSB Identification: NYC06FA156.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 26, 2006 in Philipsburg, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-200, registration: N56246
Injuries: 1 Fatal,3 Serious.

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 was cleared for the full instrument landing system (ILS) runway 16 approach. After crossing the locator outer marker (LOM), the airplane turned outbound, executed a course reversal, and then proceeded inbound in the general direction of the LOM, but never became established during the procedure turn. The airplane passed abeam the LOM about 1/2 mile to the northeast, and then conducted one "S" turn in about a mile, crossing over the final approach course twice before radar contact was lost. The last recorded target was at an altitude of 2,700 feet, and located about 1/2 mile west of the approach end of the runway. The airplane impacted trees about 228 feet below the decision altitude of 2,325 feet, and came to rest in a wooded area on a heading of 160 degrees. Examination of the wreckage revealed the NAV 1 radio was tuned to the localizer frequency, but the automatic direction finder was not tuned to the LOM. In addition, no preimpact failures or malfunctions were identified with either the airframe or engine. The pilot had approximately 625 total hours of flight experience, of which 45 hours were under simulated instrument conditions, and 107 hours were under actual instrument conditions. At the time of the accident, the airplane had been aloft approximately 4 hours 19 minutes, had about 41 minutes of fuel remaining, and it was unlikely the pilot would have been able to reach his filed alternate airport approximately 100 nautical miles away. The pilot was advised, 1 hour before the flight, of decreasing ceilings to 400 feet with 2 miles. Interpolation of weather data revealed that the weather at the arrival airport was about 200 feet overcast with 2.5 miles of visibility in light rain.

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 controlled flight into trees. Factors in the accident were the low cloud ceiling, and dark night conditions.

Full narrative available

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