Accident Cessna 401A N117AC,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 37209
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Date:Monday 8 January 1996
Time:21:07 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic C402 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna 401A
Owner/operator:Pacific States Charter Service
Registration: N117AC
MSN: 401A0040
Total airframe hrs:5800 hours
Engine model:Continental TSIO-520-E
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Spokane, WA -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Pasco, WA (KPSC)
Destination airport:(KGEG)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot (plt) received abbreviated weather (wx) briefing for emergency medical service (EMS)/air ambulance flight (flt). Before flt, he expressed anxiety about possible low visibility for landing & timely transport of dying patient. During ILS runway 3 approach (rwy 3 apch), aircraft (acft) remained well above the glide slope until close to the middle marker; acft's speed decreased from 153 to 100 kts, while vertical speed increased from 711'/min to about 1,250'/min descent. About 1 mi from rwy & 500' agl (in fog), acft abruptly turned left of localizer course & gradually descended with no distress call from plt. Acft hit a pole, then flew into a building & burned. Low ceiling, fog & dark night conditions prevailed. Plt (recent ex-military helicopter plt) had logged/reported 3500 hrs of flt time & about 150 hrs in multiengine airplanes, but there was evidence he lacked experience with actual instrument apchs in fixed-wing acft; he had difficulty with instrument flying during recent training & FAA check flts. No preimpact mechanical problem was found with acft/engines. No ILS anomalies were found. Flt nurse was using cellular phone, but no evidence was found of interference with acft's navigational system. Visibility & ceiling at destination were less than forecast at time of plt's preflt wx briefing. Paramedic was only survivor.

Probable Cause: failure of the pilot to follow proper IFR procedures, by failing to maintain proper alignment with the localizer course during the ILS approach and/or by failing to follow the proper missed approach procedure. Factors relating to the accident were: darkness; adverse weather conditions; and pressure on the pilot to complete the EMS flight, due to the circumstances and conditions that prevailed.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: SEA96FA040
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 5 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
07-Feb-2009 10:19 harro Updated
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
09-Apr-2024 08:43 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Category, Accident report]

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