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NTSB Releases Probable Cause In Hendricks Accident

Cites Crew's Failure To Properly Fly Approach

The National Transportation Safety Board released its probable cause report Tuesday on the 2004 crash of a Beech King Air operated by Hendrick Motorsports in Stuart, VA.

In its report, the NTSB cites the flight crew's failure to properly execute the published instrument approach procedure as the primary cause of the accident. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the crew's failure to use all navigational aids to confirm and monitor the airplane's position during the approach.

As was reported by Aero-News, on October 24, 2004 a Beech King Air 200 transporting eight passengers, including Hendrick Motorsports employees, and two flight crewmembers collided with mountainous terrain during a missed approach to Martinsville/Blue Ridge Airport, Martinsville, Virginia.

All 10 persons aboard the airplane died, and the aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and a post crash fire.

The flight departed Concord Regional Airport, Concord, NC (JQF) operating on instrument flight rules. Radar data shows that, after the plane was cleared for landing for a localizer runway 30 approach at Martinsville Airport (MTV), the plane did not descend at the proper point. About seven miles beyond the airport, the airplane initiated a straight- ahead climb. The airplane's radar target was lost.

The NTSB determined the missed approach should have occurred over the Martinsville Airport by executing a climbing right turn. The airplane was not equipped with a ground proximity warning system.

"The approach and missed approach procedures provide for safe operation in instrument weather conditions," said NTSB Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. "It is imperative that pilots use all available navigational aids to ensure that the approach is properly flown."

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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