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N618X accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Goshen, IN
41.582272°N, 85.834438°W

Tail number N618X
Accident date 08 Feb 1994
Aircraft type Cessna 320F
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On February 8, 1994, at 1905 central standard time, a Cessna 320F, N618X, registered to Aero Enterprises, Ltd., collided with the terrain during a VOR approach to runway 9 at the Goshen Municipal Airport, Goshen, Indiana. The pilot had canceled his IFR flight plan and was on a visual approach for runway 09 when the accident occurred. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan had been filed. The airplane was substantially damaged. The pilot-in-command was fatally injured and the passenger/pilot received serious injuries. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight departed Longview, Texas, exact time unknown.

The right seat passenger, was a commercial rated pilot and survived the accident. During an interview, in the hospital, he stated that he did not hold a multi-engine rating and was not familiar with the accident airplane. He stated that when the flight departed Longview, Texas, initially the destination was planned to be Appleton, Wisconsin; however, an enroute head wind resulted in the pilot-in-command making the decision to proceed to Goshen, Indiana, due to fuel considerations. He said that the flight flew between layers, for most part on the flight. Upon arrival in the Goshen area, the flight was cleared for the VOR runway 9 approach. He said that they entered clouds at 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and broke out at approximately 2,200 feet msl. According to the pilot witness, airframe ice during the descent was limited to the windscreen. He stated that the forward visibility was limited to what they could see from the side windows. He said that he saw the airport and told the pilot that they were a little to the right of center line. He stated that the pilot-in-command allowed the airplane to go below MDA during the approach. He indicated that the engines were running fine and there were no problems with the airplane's operations. He stated that he did not remember the impact.

An employee at the landing airport, at the time of the accident, stated that the airplane that landed just prior to the accident, had approximately one-eighth inches of ice on the leading edge surfaces.


The pilot-in-command was born October 10, 1927. He was the holder of a commercial pilot's certificate with privileges for single and multi-engine land airplane and single engine sea with instrument rating for airplane. He held a second class medical certificate issued on July 8, 1993, with vision limitations. He had accumulated at total time of 1,592 hours with 980 hours multi-engine, and 22 hours time in this type of airplane at the time of the accident. His log book indicated a total instrument time of 219 hours with 17 hours in the preceding 90 days. His most recent biennial flight review was nine months prior to the accident.

The pilot rated passenger, born September 4, 1967, held a commercial pilot's certificate with privileges for single engine land and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor's certificate for single engine land airplanes issued January 24, 1994. He held a second class medical certificate issued June 7, 1993, with no limitations. He had accumulated 340 hours total time of which 10 hours were in multi-engine airplanes. He had 52 hours of instrument flight of which 5 hours were in actual instrument conditions.


The airplane was a Cessna 320F, serial number 320F-0026. The airplane had accumulated a total of 2,813 hours total time at the time of the accident. The most recent annual inspection was conducted on December 3, 1993. The airplane had flown 24 hours since the inspection.


A transcript of conversations from N618X and the South Bend (Indiana) Air Traffic Control Tower, is included as an addendum to this report.


Ground scars indicate that the airplane touched down initially on a heading of 105 degrees magnetic and slid to a stop in approximately 400 feet coming to rest on a heading of 150 degrees magnetic. The landing gear were extended and the flaps set at approximately 10 degrees. The airplane remained upright. The impact site was in a harvested corn field that was approximately one-half mile west of and 200 feet to the right of the center line if the landing runway.

All of the flight control surfaces were accounted for at the accident scene. Both ailerons separated from the wings. All other surfaces remained attached to the airframe. Fuel remained in the right main tank. The left main tank was ruptured. Both propellers separated from their engines. One witness stated that the right engine continued to run after the accident, although the propeller was broken off. Fire and rescue personnel were able to secure the engine. All the propellers blades had bending and twist with gouges and polishing on the leading edges.

The fuselage remained intact during the impact. The left wing main spar broke at the wing/fuselage juncture, however remained attached to the fuselage. The landing gear was selected to the down position; however both of the main landing gear separated from the aircraft. Ice was noted on the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer the day after the accident.

The investigation revealed no indications of pre-impact discrepancies of either airframe or engine systems.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot-in-command by the Elkhart County (Indiana) Coroner on February 9, 1994. Toxicological specimens were examined post-mortem from the pilot-in-command and the results were negative.


The left main fuel tank (tip tank) separated from the wing of the airplane and a small fire broke out in the area of the left wing and the tank. None of the cockpit or cabin was involved in the fire. The fire was extinguished by the responding fire and rescue personnel.


The parties to the investigation were the Federal Aviation Administration, Flight Standards District Office, South Bend, Indiana, and Cessna Aircraft, Wichita, Kansas.

The wreckage was released to a representative of the owner on February 9, 1994.

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