Date & Time: Mar 17, 2020 at 0919 LT
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Wichita - Hays
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On March 17, 2020, about 0919 central daylight time (CDT), a Cessna 208B, N274PM, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident about 7 nautical miles northwest of La Crosse, Kansas. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 on-demand cargo flight. The Planemasters Ltd. flight, PMS1670, was being operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan from Wichita Dwight D Eisenhower National Airport (ICT), Wichita, Kansas, to Hays Regional Airport (HYS), Hays, Kansas. A review of Federal Aviation Administration preliminary air traffic control (ATC) communications and commercially available radar and Automatic Dependent SurveillanceBroadcast data revealed that the flight departed ICT about 0751 CDT. At 0825, the HYS automated weather observation service (AWOS) was reporting, in part, winds from 080° at 11 knots, visibility 1 statute mile, and overcast clouds at 200 ft above ground level. About 0831, the radar and ADS-B data were lost as the airplane descended through 4,000 ft while being vectored for the instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 34. Shortly thereafter, the pilot executed a missed approach, and about 0843, the airplane was re-acquired by radar and ADS-B. The pilot stated to ATC his intention to attempt the ILS approach to runway 34 a second time. At 0841, the HYS AWOS indicated that visibility had dropped to ¼ statute mile in fog. About 0853, radar and ADS-B data were again lost as the airplane descended on the instrument approach. About 0859, the airplane was re-acquired by radar northwest of HYS. At that time, the pilot stated his intention to divert to Great Bend Airport (GBD), Great Bend, Kansas. A review of radar and ADS-B data showed the airplane begin a turn to the south toward GBD while climbing to about 7,000 ft. About 0918, the airplane began a descent and left turn. The last radar and ADS-B targets were observed about 0918:48. The wreckage was discovered in a field about 0945. The airplane's tail and wings were visible above ground, with the forward fuselage and engine section buried several feet under the terrain, consistent with a near-vertical, high-speed impact. The main landing gear was bent aft towards the tail with the left and right main wheel protruding from the ground. The smell of Jet-A fuel was present at the accident site.