This December 2007 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.
Aircraft: Beech Baron; Location: Lancaster, Pa.; Injuries: None; Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The flight to reposition the airplane for maintenance was supposed to take no more than 10 minutes. The anti-ice plate on the windscreen had previously been removed for replacement, and a new unit had not yet been installed. There was an AIRMET warning of light to moderate icing in precipitation and freezing drizzle along the route of flight. The pilot reported light freezing drizzle and rain en route but was able to maintain visual contact with the ground during the flight. The airplane’s deicing equipment cleared the airframe of ice but did not clear the windscreen. The pilot utilized the autopilot to fly a coupled instrument landing system approach, and decoupled the autopilot about 300 feet above the ground. Using the side windows and the radar altimeter, the pilot estimated the airplane’s position to the runway. However, due to up-sloping terrain before the runway threshold, the airplane was actually lower than the pilot thought. The airplane subsequently came down about 150 feet short of the runway threshold. As the airplane came to a stop the nose landing gear collapsed, and the right main landing gear separated, damaging the wing spar.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain a proper glide path during the landing approach. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s improper decision to fly with known deficiencies in equipment, and the icing conditions.
For more information: NTSB.gov