What happened that led an Airline Transport Pilot with an estimated 12,100 hours of flying time to allow an instrument approach to go so frightfully wrong that it cost his life and the lives of his six passengers? The NTSB doesn’t pin it on any one thing. Rather, as is so often the case, the Safety Board points to several otherwise manageable factors that came together in such a way as to create too big an obstacle for the pilot to overcome. But the evidence it used when formulating its conclusions falls short of being conclusive, in my view, and maybe in yours too.
The accident took place on April 7, 2015, in Bloomington, Illinois. The airplane was a Cessna 414A Chancellor on a Part 91 personal flight. The airplane crashed about 2.2 nautical miles (nm) east-northeast of the Runway 20 threshold at Central Illinois Regional Airport (KBMI). It was about 1.75 miles east of the localizer centerline. The GPS altitude of the accident site was 854 feet MSL. The airplane impacted upright, in a nose low attitude. The Safety Board said there wasn’t much of a horizontal debris path, which indicated the airplane had stalled and spun in.