This January 2009 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 Musketeer. Injuries: None. Location: Lafayette, Ind. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot obtained a full weather briefing and filed an instrument flight plan prior to departing on the night flight. Shortly after departure, at an altitude of 5,000 feet MSL, he encountered icing conditions and felt a severe vibration in the aircraft flight controls, so he decided to return to the airport. During the approach to land, the plane continued to accumulate ice. It was descending at a rate of 1,500 feet per minute. The airplane broke out of the clouds at 1,750 feet MSL. The pilot couldn’t see the runway because the windscreen was completely covered with ice. The airplane touched down 40 feet short of the runway, then skidded to a stop. The wings and windscreen had approximately an inch of ice. The pilot reported that icing conditions were not forecasted or reported prior to his flight.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inadvertent encounter with icing conditions during initial climb. Contributing to the accident were the lack of visibility during the landing due to an ice-covered windscreen, and the structural ice that adversely affected the flight characteristics of the airplane.
For more information: NTSB.gov