On July 19, 1996, at about 1830 eastern daylight time, N5091G, a Cessna 172N, owned by APS Leasing Inc., and operated by the private pilot crashed into trees on the side of a mountain while on an NDB approach to Morrisville airport, Stowe, Vermont. The pilot and one passenger were not injured and the aircraft was destroyed. Instrument meteorological conditions existed, and an IFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Islip, New York at 1430, and was operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot stated that he was handed off by Air Traffic Control southwest of the JRV None Directional Beacon (NDB). He said that he proceeded to the NDB at or above 6000 feet Mean See Level (MSL), descended to 4000 feet after crossing the JRV, NDB. He said he proceeded on a heading of 050 degrees for two minutes, completed a procedure turn and took a heading of approximately 245 to 250 degrees to compensate for the wind. He said he descended to 3000 feet then 2500 feet after crossing the NDB. He said the needle swing seemed appropriate. However, he said that he was off course.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration Inspector assigned to the case the pilot received his instrument rating on April 13, 1996, and that he had accumulated 4.7 hours of actual instrument time and 163.3 hours total time since May 1991. The Inspector stated that the pilot had executed one ADF approach in Non-mountainous terrain since the issuance of his instrument rating. The pilot stated to the FAA Inspector that he did not know were he was on the approach.


The aircraft came to rest inverted with the tail resting against a tree. Both wings were destroyed. The empannage was distorted as a result of the impact. The FAA Inspector who examined the aircraft noted no pre-existing damage or system failures.

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