NTSB Identification: ATL07FA031.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 04, 2007 in Columbia, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 182P, registration: N55YS
Injuries: 3 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 pilot was cleared for a Localizer Runway 31 approach at Columbia Owens Downtown Airport, Columbia, South Carolina. Review of radar data for N55YS, revealed the airplane crossed HIDEE intersection at 1,300 feet (all altitudes msl), 500 feet below the published minimum crossing altitude. The Minimum Safe Altitude Warning alert activated and was presented on the north radar controller's display as a recurring "LA" to indicate low altitude. The north radar controller did not issue a safety alert to the pilot. The pilot informed the north radar controller that he was executing a missed approach and initiated a right turn instead of executing the published missed approach procedure. The minimum descent altitude for the approach is 660 feet and the airplane-recorded altitude was 400 feet. The radar north controller informed the pilot the airplane was radar contact, to climb and maintain two thousand one hundred and stated, "All right sir, hope you're on a heading of three one zero still on the localizer there, don't get too far to the north, I don't know what's out there at that altitude." The pilot acknowledged the transmission, and was provided the weather at Columbia Metropolitan Airport and vectors for the ILS runway 11at that airport. The pilot was cleared for the ILS runway 11, four miles from the outer marker and instructed to maintain 2,100 feet until established. The decision height for the approach is 436 feet. Review of radar data revealed the airplane crossed the outer marker at 1,700 feet. A low altitude alert was observed on the radar playback from this point for the remainder of the approach. The north radar controller did not issue any safety alerts. The final low altitude alert was at 300 feet, 1 mile from the end of the runway. The pilot was instructed to contact the tower and acknowledged the transmission. After communications were transferred to the local controller in the control tower, the local controller was unable to establish radio contact with N55YS. The local controller made numerous transmissions including a low altitude alert, a clearance to land, weather information, runway visual range, and position correlation information; however, the local controller did not receive a response from the pilot of N55YS. Non-ATC recordings revealed the pilot of N55YS responded to the local controller transmissions; however, the radio calls from N55YS while on the local control frequency were not heard by the controller or recorded by the ATC facility. There was no further contact with the pilot and the radar track went into the coast mode. The airplane was located the following morning about 1 mile west of the runway in a wooded area. Examination of the airframe, flight controls, engine assembly, and accessories revealed no evidence of a pre-crash mechanical failure or malfunction. Examination of the flight instruments revealed no anomalies. There was no entry in the logbook indicating a current altimeter test.

This report was modified on January 25, 2008.

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

The pilot's failure to follow approach procedures by descending below the prescribed descision height altitude resulting in an in-flight collision with trees and the ground.

This report was modified on January 25, 2008.

Full narrative available

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