Accident Beechcraft C99 Commuter N54RP, Saturday 18 March 2006
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Date:Saturday 18 March 2006
Type:Silhouette image of generic BE99 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Beechcraft C99 Commuter
Registration: N54RP
MSN: U-218
Year of manufacture:1983
Total airframe hrs:22169 hours
Cycles:35539 flights
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-36
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:13 km SW of Butte, MT -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Helena Airport, MT (HLN/KHLN)
Destination airport:Butte Airport, MT (BTM/KBTM)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The Beech 99 departed Helena (HLN) at 14:35 on flight to Butte (BTM) and was carrying only about 10 pounds of freight. The aircraft was cleared for the VOR B approach to Butte at 14:48. A weather front had been approaching the area from the south to the north/northeast. Weather conditions included icing conditions followed by heavy snow fall with poor visibility and variable winds in the mountains.
According to the approach plate, the transition to the approach is via a DME arc at 9,000 feet with no procedure turn. The flight is to track inbound on the 127 degree radial, descending down to, but no lower than, 7,700 feet to the initial approach fix (IAF). After crossing the IAF, the flight is to turn to 097 degrees for 10 nautical miles and descend to 6,900 feet. The remainder of the 1.5 nautical miles to the runway is to be flown under visual conditions.
During the descent the airplane collided with trees and subsequently the mountainous terrain on a heading of approximately 127 degrees and about 6,900 feet mean sea level. The initial impact point was located approximately nine nautical miles on a magnetic bearing of 130 degrees from the IAF. Documentation of the horizontal situation indicator (HSI) on the left side instrument panel indicated that the course arrow was positioned to approximately 127 degrees, the inbound heading to the IAF. The co-pilot (right side) course arrow was positioned to 115 degrees. The location of the wreckage and the 127 degree heading on the HSI indicate that the pilots failed to follow the approach procedure and turn to a heading of 097 degrees after crossing the IAF.
Search crews found the wreckage of the plane on March 20.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The second pilot's failure to follow the published instrument approach procedure and the captain/PIC's inadequate supervision. Snow and mountain obscuration were factors."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: SEA06FA068
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year 1 month
Download report: Final report


2 killed in crash of cargo plane (Billings Gazette 20-3-2006)


Revision history:


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