On January 17, 2000, at 0015 central standard time, a Cessna 172M, N12654, operated by a commercial pilot sustained substantial damage when on ILS approach for runway 35 (7,101 feet by 150 feet, dry asphalt) at Liberal Municipal Airport, Liberal, Kansas, the airplane impacted the terrain, 1 mile south of the airport. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. An IFR flight plan was on file. The pilot and three passengers on board the airplane sustained minor injuries. The cross country flight originated at Denver, Colorado, and was en route to Liberal, Kansas.

In his written statement, the pilot said that he received vectors from the Kansas City Air Route Traffic Control Center to the ILS approach for runway 35. The pilot said that Kansas City Center instructed him to descend to 4,000 feet msl, and advise when established on the approach. The pilot advised center that he was on the approach. He said that Kansas City Center issued an altimeter of 30.21 inches of Mercury (Hg), which he set in the altimeter. "AWOS reported 100 OVC (overcast) 1/4 [mile] visibility." The pilot said that he, and the student pilot/ passenger, sitting in the right seat, saw the altimeter indication of 3,400 feet msl. "The glide slope was indicating centered. The localizer was indication about 1 dot off. I began to correct to the right, and remember the altimeter indication [of] 3,300 feet msl, which was above decision height. The airplane struck the ground and turned hard to the right (about 90 degrees).

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors examined the wreckage at the accident site. The airplane rested upright in a wheat field, approximately 1 mile south of the Liberal Municipal Airport, and slightly left of the centerline for runway 35. The airplane's main wreckage was preceded by a ground scar which was located 291 feet to the south-southwest west. Numerous slices into the dirt were observed beginning at the first ground scar and proceeding along a 050 degree magnetic heading, toward the main wreckage, for approximately 53 feet. The airplane's right wing was bent upward. The empennage was broken downward and bent to the right. The airplane's propeller showed torsional bending, chordwise scratches, and curled tips. Flight control continuity was confirmed. Examination of the engine, engine accessories and controls, and other airplane systems revealed no anomalies.

At 0035 cst, the Automatic Weather Observing Station (AWOS) at Liberal, Kansas, reported an overcast ceiling of 100 feet above ground level (agl), 1/4 mile visibility, temperature 34 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point not reported, winds 140 degrees at 5 knots, and altimeter 30.19 inches Hg.

The pilot stated that the weather conditions on the ground was heavy ground fog.

The ILS approach to runway 35 at the Liberal Municipal Airport has a published decision height of 3,074 feet msl. Published minimum weather required to fly the approach is a 200 foot ceiling and 1/2 mile visibility.

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