NTSB Identification: NYC07FA056.
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Accident occurred Monday, January 15, 2007 in Wayne, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2008
Aircraft: Beech A36, registration: N711SK
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 airplane approached the destination airport in night instrument meteorological conditions. The pilot received a clearance for the localizer approach, and radar and global positioning (GPS) data revealed the airplane was established on the localizer course centerline. The airplane crossed the final approach fix 200 feet below the minimum descent altitude (MDA) for the fix, and over the next 1.5 miles, descended on an approximate 7-degree approach angle and a 945 feet-per-minute rate of descent. The airplane continued its descent and struck trees on a ridgeline approximately 400 feet below the intermediate MDA for that segment of the approach. A witness at the crash site saw the airplane through thick fog in a wings-level descent just prior to contact with the trees. She stated that the engine ran smoothly and without interruption. Other witnesses described thick fog along the ridgeline throughout the day prior to the accident, with visibility less than 1/8 mile. Examination of the damaged trees, the crash site, and the airplane revealed signatures consistent with engine power at ground contact. Examination of the wreckage revealed no mechanical anomalies. Post accident flight check results for the localizer approach were "Satisfactory." Further examination of air traffic control (ATC) records revealed that the pilot's first takeoff on the day of the accident was 12 hours prior to the accident.

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 terrain.

Full narrative available

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