This December 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 A36. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Eagle Pass, Texas. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was on an instrument approach to the non-towered airport, which was shrouded in fog. He was flying the RNAV (GPS) 31. The published minimums for this instrument approach are a 400-foot ceiling and one-mile visibility. The automated weather station about 33 miles northwest of the accident site reported calm winds, temperature 41° Fahrenheit, dew point 41° Fahrenheit, visibility less than 1/4 miles in fog, and an indefinite ceiling. The last radar plot showed the airplane at an altitude of 1,200 feet MSL but slightly east of the runway, and approximately 435 feet from the accident site.
The airplane hit the airport’s perimeter road fence and terrain parallel to and about 750 feet east of the runway. The pilot appeared to have mistaken the east perimeter road for the runway landing point.
Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to continue the approach below minimums without visual references, and subsequent collision with the perimeter fence/terrain.
For more information: NTSB.gov; NTSB Identification: CEN10FA069