This September 2008 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 Bonanza. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Carlsbad, Calif. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The pilot had received his instrument rating two months before the accident, and had accumulated approximately 41 hours of actual instrument time, but none in the Bonanza.
The airplane was on an ILS approach to Runway 24. The reported weather was 100-foot ceiling and 1/4-mile visibility in fog. The published weather minimums for the ILS 24 approach are 200-foot ceiling and 3/4-mile visibility. The tower controller relayed to the pilot that the runway visual range was a quarter mile, winds were 280° at 5 knots, and the flight was cleared to land on Runway 24. About two minutes later the controller issued the pilot a low altitude alert, followed by a notification that it appeared that the pilot was south of course. About two minutes later, the pilot transmitted that he was going to “abort” the approach. The pilot’s last transmission a minute later stated, “I’m in trouble.” Despite numerous attempts, no further communications with the pilot were established. Radar data indicated that, two miles from the approach end of Runway 24, the airplane crossed over the final approach course at 800 feet MSL heading south. The track started a tight left-hand turn with altitude readings that fluctuated between 600 and 1,100 feet MSL. The last radar return depicted the airplane at 900 feet MSL and at a ground speed of 56 knots. The airplane wreckage was confined to the initial impact point, located on an approximate 40° sloping hillside, 1.3 miles southeast of the approach end of Runway 24, in the same vicinity as the last radar return.
Probable cause: The failure to maintain control during the instrument approach and attempted go-around.
For more information: NTSB.gov