NTSB Identification: ERA12FA161
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 27, 2012 in Ocala, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/15/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 340A, registration: N340HF
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 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 pilot entered the left downwind leg of the traffic pattern to land to the north. A surface wind from the west prevailed with gusts to 15 knots. Radar data revealed that the airplane was on final approach, about 1.16 miles from the runway and about 210 feet above the ground. The airplane then crashed in a pasture south of the airport, in a slight left-wing-low attitude, and came to rest upright. The cockpit and cabin were consumed in a postcrash fire. The pilot's wife, who was in the aft cabin and survived the accident, recalled that it was choppy and that they descended quickly. She recalled hearing two distinct warning horns in the cockpit prior to the crash. The airplane was equipped with two aural warning systems in the cockpit: a landing gear warning horn and a stall warning horn. The pilot likely allowed the airspeed to decay while aligning the airplane on final approach and allowed the airplane to descend below a normal glide path. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the landing gear were in transit toward the retracted position at impact, indicating that the pilot was attempting to execute a go-around before the accident. The pilot made no distress calls to air traffic controllers before the crash. The pilot did not possess a current flight review at the time of the accident. Examination of the wreckage, including a test run of both engines, revealed no evidence of a pre-existing mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and altitude on final approach, resulting in an impact with terrain short of the airport. Full narrative available
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