Loss of control Accident Beechcraft 58P Baron N48TS, Wednesday 5 January 2011
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Date:Wednesday 5 January 2011
Type:Silhouette image of generic B58T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Beechcraft 58P Baron
Registration: N48TS
MSN: TJ-387
Total airframe hrs:3285 hours
Engine model:Continental TSIO-520
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:North EastLake, Birmingham, Alabama -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Morristown, NJ (MMU)
Destination airport:Alabaster, AL (EET)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
During the approximately 5 hour and 25 minute night instrument cross-country flight in a multi-engine airplane, the pilot elected not to stop at his planned fuel stop. Upon reaching the destination airport, the weather conditions included an overcast ceiling at 300 feet and 2 miles visibility in drizzle, which were worse than the forecast conditions of overcast ceiling at 1,000 feet and 6 miles visibility. The pilot diverted to his planned alternate airport and attempted an instrument landing system approach. Given the lack of a fuel stop, the pilot may have felt personal pressure to land the airplane as soon as possible. The airplane initially intercepted the localizer for the approach, but did not intercept the glideslope. The airplane then proceeded left of course, above the glideslope, followed by a continued left deviation and descent below the glideslope. The tower controller asked the pilot if he was still on the localizer course and the pilot replied that he was not. The tower controller then provided heading and altitude instructions in an attempt to guide the pilot onto a missed approach. The pilot acknowledged the heading instruction, but failed to turn to the assigned heading or climb to the assigned altitude. The airplane subsequently impacted a residential area about 1/2 mile from the runway.

The pilot's logbook was not recovered and a determination of his flight experience in actual instrument conditions could not be made. According to a flight instructor, the pilot had owned the accident airplane for about 6 months and had 80 to 90 hours in the make and model. The pilot completed an instrument proficiency check with the instructor about 1 month prior to the accident. The instruction included many instrument approaches and missed approach procedures. Additionally, the flight instructor concentrated on attitude flying, which was not the pilot's strongest skill.

Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. If neither horizon nor surface references exist, the attitude of an airplane must be determined by artificial means from the flight instruments. However, during periods of low visibility, the supporting senses sometimes conflict with what is seen; when this happens, a pilot is particularly vulnerable to disorientation. Postmortem toxicology testing noted findings consistent with marijuana use; however, no blood was available for toxicological testing and it was not possible to reliably estimate when the marijuana may have most recently been used or whether the pilot may have been impaired by such use.
Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during an instrument approach due to spatial disorientation.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA11FA107
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 9 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

06-Jan-2011 02:30 slowkid Added
06-Jan-2011 02:31 slowkid Updated [Date]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
26-Nov-2017 18:46 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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