Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Controlled Flight into Terrain / Object: Cessna 340, N89AM; accident occurred October 01, 2018 at Keokuk Municipal Airport (KEOK), Lee County, Iowa

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines, Iowa

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 


Location: Keokuk, IA
Accident Number: GAA19CA001
Date & Time: 10/01/2018, 0330 CDT
Registration: N89AM
Aircraft: Cessna 340
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Executive/Corporate 


The pilot reported that, while conducting an instrument approach at night in instrument meteorological conditions, about 50 ft above the decision altitude of 921 ft, he mistook building lights for runway lights. He inadvertently touched down the airplane in a soybean field about 3/4 mile short of the runway. He then increased engine power to full, and the airplane climbed "a couple hundred feet." Once he established visual contact with the runway lights, he landed the airplane on the runway without further incident.  

The pilot added that the lateral guidance from the localizer was "dead center" but that he could not recall the position of the vertical guidance needle. 

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. 

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The airport’s automated weather observation station reported that, about 5 minutes after the accident, the wind was from 030° at 3 knots, visibility was 1/2 statute mile with mist, overcast at 200 ft above ground level (agl), temperature 57°F, and dew point 57°F. The pilot reported that the airport ceiling was overcast at 300 ft agl with fog and rain and that visibility was 1 mile.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to correctly identify the runway environment during an instrument approach at night in instrument meteorological conditions because he mistook building lights for runway lights, which resulted in landing short of the runway. 


Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Perception - Pilot (Cause)
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Drizzle/mist - Effect on personnel
Low visibility - Effect on personnel
Dark - Effect on operation
Object/animal/substance - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing area undershoot

Landing-aborted after touchdown
Wrong surface or wrong airport

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 31, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s):  Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/31/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/08/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2700 hours (Total, all aircraft), 215 hours (Total, this make and model), 3624 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 45 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N89AM
Model/Series: 340 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 340-0545
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 6340 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TIO-550
Registered Owner: Windy Point Aviation Llc
Rated Power: 310 hp
Operator: Windy Point Aviation Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Night/Dark
Observation Facility, Elevation: KEOK, 671 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0835 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 200 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 30°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Moderate - Mist
Departure Point: Chicago, IL (ORD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Mount Pleasant, IA (MPZ)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 0145 CST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Keokuk Muni (EOK)
Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 671 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 08
IFR Approach: RNAV
Runway Length/Width: 5500 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Unknown

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude: 40.460000, -91.452222 (est)

1 comment:

  1. Glad you guys are all ok.

    Really appreciate the openness and honesty previously provided and I hope you are back flying.

    I am convinced that fatigue was an issue as well.