Aircraft: Beech A36. Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious. Location: Charlevoix, Mich. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The accident happened during an instrument approach in low IFR conditions. According to the pilot’s logbook, his most recent instrument proficiency check was completed on June 25, 2010, and at the time of the accident, the pilot had logged more than 1,000 hours.
The circling approach weather minimums for the approach were a 700-foot AGL ceiling and 1 mile visibility. According to witnesses on the ground, the ceiling at the airport was overcast at 200 feet AGL when the airplane came out of overcast about halfway down the runway.
Instead of executing the published missed approach procedure, the pilot remained at a low altitude and entered the right downwind leg of the traffic pattern for the runway. As the airplane turn to the right toward the runway, the nose pitched up. The airplane banked to the left, stalled, and crashed.
Based on the witness reports and examination of the impact damage, it is likely the pilot inadvertently stalled the airplane at a low altitude during the downwind-to-base turn.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate airspeed while maneuvering at low altitude, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision to not execute a missed approach in weather conditions below minimums.
NTSB Identification: CEN11FA417
This June 2011 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.