On January 27, 2000, at 0836 mountain standard time, a Cessna 310R, N87338, was destroyed when it collided with terrain while maneuvering near Columbia Falls, Montana, after declaring a missed approach at Glacier International Airport, about nine miles southwest of the accident site. The airline transport pilot was the sole occupant of the airplane, which was conducting a check-hauling cargo flight under 14 CFR 135; an instrument flight plan had been filed for the flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the vicinity at the time of the accident. The ELT actuated, and was instrumental in locating the crash site. The airplane burned after impact.

The pilot was hypothermic at the time he was rescued, after about 1400. Sheriff's office personnel observed that the airplane came to rest at about 4330 feet MSL, at 48 24.58N; 114 07.77W. The wreckage distribution path was approximately 75 yards, up-slope, with a slope of 45 degrees up, transitioning to approximately 60 degrees up-slope. After he was hospitalized, the pilot stated to sheriff's office personnel that he had seen vegetation, and had applied full aft elevator before impact.

In an interview conducted by FAA inspectors, the pilot stated that he had been cleared for the VOR runway 30 approach, flew that approach, and-upon his arrival at the missed approach point-he did not have the runway or the airport environment in sight. He said he had heard that an aircraft that had preceded him to the airport, a Cessna 208, had reported the weather to be better to the south and west of the airport, and had reported seeing the airport from the west side of the airport. The pilot told FAA inspectors that after he arrived at the missed approach point and did not have the runway or airport environment in sight, he continued to the west side of the airport and made a left turn, for a "downwind for runway 02," saying he intended to use the localizer frequency to help him find the runway, and tuned the number one nav to the localizer frequency for the ILS runway 02 approach. He said he thought a left turn would align the aircraft with runway 02, and-if he did not see the runway-the left turn would place him back near the missed approach point and he would begin the missed approach from that point.

The pilot told FAA inspectors that he did not acquire the runway or airport environment visually. He said the number two nav was tuned to the VOR frequency. He said he did not remember centering the CDI for navigation to the VOR for the missed approach, nor does he remember the localizer needle (nav one) being centered. He offered no explanation as to how the aircraft wound up about eight miles north of the airport on the mountainside.

The published instrument approach procedure for runway 30 calls for tracking outbound from the VOR on the 316 radial, to a missed approach point 6.4 nautical miles from the VOR, with a descent to a minimum descent altitude of 3480 feet for a straight-in approach. Missed approach calls for a climbing left turn direct to the VOR/DME.

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