NTSB Identification: CEN13FA085
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 02, 2012 in Greensburg, IN
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46-350P, registration: N92315
Injuries: 4 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 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.
On December 2, 2012, about 1819 Eastern Standard Time (EST), a Piper PA-46-350P, N92315, collided with the terrain while performing the RNAV (GPS) Rwy 36 approach to the Greensburg Municipal Airport (I34), Greensburg, IN. The instrument rated private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to an individual, and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) existed at the time of the accident, which was operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The flight originated at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (KDSI), Destin, Florida, at 1416 Central Standard Time.
Prior to the arrival of the accident airplane, a friend of the pilot flew the same flight in a similarly-equipped airplane. The friend arrived approximately 30 minutes prior to the accident airplane, and then stated that he performed the same approach to its termination point. The friend never broke out of the clouds, performed a missed approach and diverted to an alternate airport. At 1806:36, ATC cleared the accident pilot to perform the RNAV (GPS) RWY 36 approach. The last communication with the accident pilot was that the airplane was four miles from the no procedure turn (NoPT) initial approach fix (IAF), PULIC, and that the accident pilot could change the airport advisory frequency. Weather at the time of the approach was reported as instrument flight rules (IFR) with ceilings estimated by witnesses at approximately 300 feet with fog and mist. A witness subsequently saw the airplane descend out of the clouds with no perceived pitch change or change in engine noise prior to impacting terrain. That witness contacted 911 at 1819 and informed them of the accident. At 1829, Indianapolis Approach Control contacted the Greensburg Police Department 911 dispatch and informed them that the accident pilot had not closed his flight plan. At 1836, 911 dispatch called Indianapolis Approach Control and requested additional information on the accident airplane The airplane was found by searchers at 2305. The airplane initially impacted a plowed field and traveled 328 feet on a heading of 115 degrees. Approach minimums required 700 feet and 1 mile visibility for a straight-in approach and 800 feet and 1 mile visibility for the circling approach. An Eyewitness near the airport reported seeing a very low-flying airplane with landing lights on at the approximate time of the accident occurrence in a slight left bank, flying directly over his house 750 feet east of the approach end of Runway 18. Other witnesses stated that the pilot-controlled runway lighting was not illuminated at the time of the accident. The runway lights were operationally checked following the accident and no anomalies were found.
A detailed examination of the airplane and it engine was completed after its recovery and no anomalies were found. Non-volatile memory (NVM) recovered from the aircraft included two panel-mounted GPS navigation devices, and an associated multi-function display. Additionally, three personal data devices with NVM were also recovered. All devices were sent to the NTSB Recorder Lab in Washington, DC, for examination. The remainder of the aircraft was released to the aircraft owners representative.
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