Hawker Beechcraft C90A, Mount Airy, N.C., Feb. 1, 2008–The King Air, operating under Part 91, was attempting to land in rain and fog following an instrument approach to Mount Airy/Surry County Airport when witnesses saw it break out of the clouds at approximately 500 feet agl and descend rapidly and fly parallel to the runway before making a hard left turn into the fog. A few minutes later it re-emerged from the clouds in a nose-down attitude and crashed in a residential area.
The cockpit voice recorder was recovered from the wreckage and was found to contain more than half an hour of usable audio, which revealed that the pilot was concerned with slowing his speed on approach due to icing and later became disoriented while attempting to bring the aircraft around for another approach.
While the pilot’s most recent medical application to the FAA indicated a negative response to the questions of diabetes and mental disorders, toxicology reports revealed the presence of the prescription anti-depressant Zoloft, and a review of his personal medical records showed he had been diagnosed with diabetes two years before the accident.
According to investigators, the aircraft was equipped with shoulder harnesses and seat belts at all six seating positions, yet on four of the six seats the passenger restraints were unfastened. The Surry County medical examiner found four of the six occupants unrestrained near the front of the passenger cabin. The pilot, copilot/passenger and four passengers were killed in the crash, and the twin turboprop was substantially damaged.