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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: DFW06FA021
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Sunday, November 06, 2005 in Tomball, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-34-220T, registration: N4171Z
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Minor.

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 instrument rated commercial pilot lost control of the twin-engine airplane while attempting to execute a missed approach following a Localizer (LOC) approach to runway 17R while operating in instrument meteorological conditions that were below the prescribed minimums for the approach. The airplane impacted east of runway 17R near the airport boundary on a heading of 345 degrees. Radar data depicted that the airplane remained right of the approach course throughout the instrument approach, and showed the airplane begin a right turn at about 300 feet MSL, then turn to the left, and initiate a climb. The airplane continued to a heading of 105 degrees, with altitudes between 300 and 800 feet prior to beginning a descent. The airplane was observed to disappear into the clouds by tower personnel and was seen coming out of the clouds by witnesses at a high rate of descent with the left wing in a near vertical attitude. A witness stated that the airplane was at an altitude of 300-400 feet above the ground when it came out of the clouds. A second witness reported that he heard a low flying aircraft, and then observed a twin-engine airplane banking left out of the clouds, then level out, and appear to attempt to climb but was too low. A detailed examination of the wreckage of the airplane and the engines did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical anomalies. A weather observation taken approximately 2 minutes after the accident included a visibility 1 3/4 statue miles with mist, and an overcast ceiling at 300 feet. The approach minumums for LOC 17R requied a 500 foot or better ceiling, and at least one mile visibility.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's failure to maintain control of the aircraft while attempting to execute a missed approach procedure in weather that was below landing minimums. Contributing factors were the low ceiling, and the below approach landing minimums.