CFIT kills two

Aircraft: Beech Duke. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Edwards, Colo. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The pilot, 67, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single, multiengine, and instrument privileges. At the time of the accident he held a third class airman medical certificate and had in excess of 1,300 hours total time. The pilot-rated passenger, age 73, held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single, multiengine, and instrument privileges. His total experience was not determined. The airplane was registered to and operated by the younger pilot.

On the day of the flight, the weather briefer warned the pilot of AIRMETs and SIGMETs for moderate icing between the freezing level and flight level 220 and occasional severe rime and mixed icing below 16,000 feet. In addition there were snow showers in the area. The pilot stated that he was aware of the adverse weather conditions. The air traffic controller had cleared the flight for the instrument approach and the pilot acknowledged the clearance. Radar data depicted the airplane turning toward the final approach course and then continuing the turn 180° before disappearing from radar at 11,200 feet. The wreckage was located at an elevation of 10,725 feet. The airplane hit terrain in a nose down, right turn. Impact forces and a post-impact fire resulted in substantial damage to the airplane.

The airplane was allegedly maintained under an annual inspection program, however the actual maintenance records were not located by investigators. According to the family of the airplane owner, he had been advised that the airplane’s windshield heat was inoperative. He requested that the system be placarded inoperative. He was then advised that the airplane was no longer certified for flight into known icing conditions. There were no records to indicate that the windshield heat had been repaired or that the airplane was again certified for flight into known icing conditions.

Probable cause: Controlled flight into terrain while on an instrument approach in instrument meteorological conditions, for undetermined reasons.

NTSB Identification: CEN11FA110

This December 2010 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

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