While on an instrument flight rules approach to land in instrument meteorological conditions at night, the pilot was “a little late descending” on the glideslope.
He added that, during the approach to the airport in Waterford, Michigan, he increased the descent rate and became “a little right of course.”
He noticed approach lights, but became “fixated” on the instruments while attempting to correct for being off course.
Subsequently, the Cessna 210 hit the tops of trees, and he immediately pulled up. He landed without further incident.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing, empennage, and fuselage.
The pilot reported that there were no pre-accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The automated weather observation system at the airport reported, about the time of the accident, that the wind was from 140° at 5 knots, visibility 3/4 statute mile, light rain, and clouds overcast at 200′. The pilot landed on runway 9 and flew the RNAV GPS runway 9 approach.
Probable cause: The pilot’s unstabilized approach at night, which resulted in a collision with trees.
NTSB Identification: GAA18CA007
This October 2017 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.