Preliminary Report: Approach light out at EWB

 - March 26, 2007, 7:15 AM

Socata TBM 700, North Dartmouth, Mass., Feb. 2, 2007–Making an IFR missed approach to New Bedford Regional Airport (EWB) in Massachusetts at night, TBM N944CA crashed in Dartmouth, one mile west of the airport, killing all three people on board.

The FAA noted that the approach lighting system for Runway 5 at EWB was out of service, and that a notam was in effect at the time of the accident. The agency said the runway lights were operating at the time of the accident.

The airplane was flown by a commercial-rated pilot. Also on board was the owner, a private pilot, and a passenger. The flight began at Allentown, Pa., and stopped at Boston Logan for refueling before taking off for EWB.

On the ILS Runway 5 approach, one of the pilots reported a missed approach to ATC. Radar data showed that the flight descended to 300 feet msl on the approach, then made a climbing left turn to approximately 1,000 feet before radar contact was lost.

Weather at EWB at the time was wind 160 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 1 mile in light rain and mist; ceiling 200 feet, temperature and dew point 34 degrees F, altimeter 29.58 inches.

Local newspaper reports said that the runway lights were not on due to overgrowth. The mayor of New Bedford had asked the FAA in January to deal with the problem. At press time some of the lights were operating, lighting 1,400 feet of the runway.