NTSB Identification: CEN11FA302
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 22, 2011 in Topeka, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2012
Aircraft: BEECH 58, registration: N580EA
Injuries: 4 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 approach to the airport in instrument conditions. However, the pilot overshot the final approach course and decided to perform a missed approach. While climbing during the missed approach, the pilot requested and was cleared to fly a global positioning satellite (GPS) approach to the airport. The pilot was maneuvering in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) to set up for the GPS approach when the airplane departed controlled flight and impacted terrain. The airplane fragmented and a postcrash fire ensued. Crush angles on fragmented pieces of the airplane indicated the airplane struck the ground in a left descending turn at high speed. Radar data showed the airplane maneuvering north-northeast of the airport in a left descending turn before it disappeared from radar. The weather conditions at the airport at the time of the accident were reported as a 500-foot overcast ceiling and 10 miles visibility. According to the pilot’s records, in the 5 months since he received his instrument rating, he had logged 0.7 hours of instrument time. His total time logged as flying in actual instrument conditions was 11 hours. Additionally, the pilot received his multiengine airplane rating 2 months before the accident and had logged 28.7 total hours of multiengine airplane flight time. It is likely that that the pilot became disoriented while maneuvering in IMC to set up for the GPS approach and lost control of the airplane.

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

The pilot failed to maintain control of the airplane while maneuvering in instrument meteorological conditions. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s minimal experience flying in actual instrument conditions.

Full narrative available

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