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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 77938
Last updated: 4 December 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-44-180 Seminole
Owner/operator:JA Aero, Inc.
Registration: N570ER
MSN: 4496146
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Trout River, Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Sugar Grove, IL (ARR)
Destination airport:Woodruff, WI (ARV)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The accident occurred during a night cross-country flight in instrument meteorological conditions with reported moderate turbulence. Review of air traffic control data indicated that the instrument-rated pilot had difficulty navigating from the initial approach fix to the final approach fix. Radar track data showed that the pilot initially turned the wrong direction and ultimately made several course reversals that were not in accordance with the published approach procedure. Radar data also indicated that the pilot had difficulty maintaining an altitude appropriate for the segment of the approach; the airplane's altitude increased and decreased in excess of 500 feet. In addition, on several instances, the pilot allowed the airplane to descend below the prescribed minimum altitudes for the approach. The airplane eventually impacted a river in an uncontrolled descent about mile north of the final approach fix. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

During a recent checkout in the accident airplane, the pilot demonstrated a lack of instrument flight proficiency, and following the checkout, he was authorized to rent the accident airplane for visual flight rules (VFR) flights only. The flight instructor who provided the checkout flight reported that the pilot had difficulty maintaining situational awareness and aircraft control when flying only by reference to the flight instruments.
Probable Cause: The pilot's decision to attempt an instrument approach in turbulent night instrument meteorological conditions with a recently-identified deficiency with his instrument flight proficiency, which resulted in a loss of airplane control as a result of spatial disorientation.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 8 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

24-Sep-2010 23:51 slowkid Added
24-Sep-2010 23:54 slowkid Updated [Time, Nature, Damage]
25-Sep-2010 02:57 Geno Updated [Registration, Cn, Departure airport, Source]
02-Oct-2010 07:27 slowkid Updated [Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
26-Nov-2017 18:09 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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