Final Reports: BELOW-MINIMUMS LANDING DAMAGEd KING AIR

 - September 14, 2006, 5:12 AM

Raytheon Beech King Air 200, Dulles, Va., Oct. 26, 2004–The NTSB said the accident was caused by the pilot’s improper in-flight decision to continue an instrument approach and landing. Below-minimums weather conditions were a factor.

While holding for 20 minutes, the ATP-rated pilot of King Air N888TR checked the automated surface observation system at Eastern WV Regional Airport in Martinsburg, W.Va. It reported a quarter mile visibility in fog and 100 feet of vertical visibility. He thought the weather was improving, and he was cleared for the ILS RWY 26 approach. At 50 feet above the decision height, he spotted the runway and thought he had half a mile visibility. Landing, he lost all forward visibility and started a missed approach, but the King Air touched down on the grass and the left gear struck a taxiway sign. The airplane took off and the pilot flew to Washington Dulles International Airport. On landing, the left gear collapsed.

No one was injured, but the left engine firewall and forward pressure bulkhead were damaged.