NTSB Identification: DFW07FA041.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 18, 2006 in Fayetteville, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2007
Aircraft: Beech A36, registration: N1100J
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 instrument rated commercial pilot was executing a night instrument approach to Runway 34 when the single-engine airplane collided with trees. The published approach minimums for the LDA/DME RWY 34 approach are an 800-foot ceiling and one-mile visibility. One surviving passenger on the airplane reported that as the airplane dropped below the clouds, it collided with the trees during the night. He added that it was foggy at the lower altitude. Another surviving passenger reported that the flight circled the airport once while the pilot was "punching numbers on a pad on the instrument panel." He also stated that "they couldn't see the runway lights" and the airplane collided with the trees short of the airport. About the time of the accident, a 400-foot ceiling was reported. After the accident, the runway lighting was verified as being operational. An examination of the airplane failed to reveal any anomalies with the airframe or systems. The aircraft collided with the trees in a wings level attitude approximately 4 miles from, and on the approach path to the runway. The instrument approach was flight checked as "fully operational" by the FAA following the accident. The pilot disregarded the glide slope information and tried to "duck" under the prevailing fog in order to see the approach lights.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from obstacles. Contributing factors were the below approach/landing weather minimums, and the prevailing dark night conditions. Full narrative available
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