Aircraft: Beech Bonanza. Injuries: 1 Serious. Location: Wausau, Wis. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting an instrument approach. The airport’s weather system was reporting conditions below approach minimums. The pilot chose to attempt the approach and, if necessary, execute a missed approach and hold until conditions improved.
He noted the decision altitude and lowered the landing gear at the final approach fix. He thought that he had accomplished this on the approach, however, he stated that he did not remember hearing the decision altitude aural warning.
The pilot descended below the approach minimums. He added that when he was preparing the airplane for a missed approach, he saw the hills and trees, right before the airplane crashed.
Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to attempt an instrument approach in meteorological conditions below approach minimums and his failure to properly execute a missed approach.
NTSB Identification: CEN13LA016
This October 2012 accident report is are provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.