Date & Time: Feb 16, 2003 at 2002 LT
Griffith - Somerset
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Aircraft flight hours:
The airplane joined the inbound course for the GPS instrument approach between the intermediate approach fix and the final approach fix, and maintained an altitude about 200 feet below the sector minimum. The last radar return revealed the airplane to be about 3/4 nautical miles beyond the final approach fix, approximately 1,000 feet left of course centerline. An initial tree strike was found about 1 nautical mile before the missed approach point, about 700 feet left of course centerline, at an elevation about 480 feet below the minimum descent altitude. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane flying at a "very low altitude" just prior to its impact with hilly terrain, and also described the sound of the airplane's engines as "really loud" and "a constant roar." Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. There was no evidence of mechanical malfunction.
The pilot's failure to follow the instrument approach procedure, which resulted in an early descent into trees and terrain. Factors included the low ceiling and the night lighting conditions.