NTSB Identification: CHI08FA053
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 20, 2007 in Springfield, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/11/2010
Aircraft: Beech V35B, registration: N17784
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 departed on the cross-country flight under visual flight rules and obtained flight following from several air traffic control facilities located along the intended route of flight. While enroute, he obtained an instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance after encountering instrument conditions at 2,500 feet. The accident flight was provided radar vectors to intercept the instrument landing system (ILS) runway 4 approach for the intended destination. Radar track data showed the accident airplane passed through the localizer centerline at 2,400 feet and then it made a rapid right turn back toward the centerline. The airplane then performed a series of rapid descents and climbs, and several course reversals over a period of 75 seconds. During this time period, the pilot reported having an unspecified problem and his last communication was "I can go out now ... flying eastbound." A witness reported seeing the accident airplane flying about 20 feet above the ground before it entered a steep climb. He then heard an increase in engine noise, which was followed by a loud boom. The airplane impacted about 3.5 miles outside the locator outer marker along the localizer centerline. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the destination airport with a ground visibility of 2-1/2 miles in mist and a 500 foot overcast ceiling. Based on available information, the pilot had not recorded an instrument approach in over 6 months and his last flight review was completed more than 24 months before the accident. No additional dual flight instruction or instrument proficiency checks were uncovered during the investigation. A review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues. Examination of the recovered wreckage revealed no evidence of a pre-impact mechanical malfunction.

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

The loss of control during an instrument approach due to spatial disorientation.

Full narrative available

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