Preliminary Accident Reports

August 2001 Issue

May 12, Ithaca, N.Y. / Piper Turbo Lance II

At 09:36 eastern time, a Piper PA-32RT-300 struck the ground during an instrument approach to Tompkins County Airport. The pilot and two passengers suffered minor injuries. While being vectored for the ILS Runway 32 approach, the pilot had the autopilot engaged in the heading and altitude mode. Once cleared for the approach, the pilot canceled the altitude mode and started a descent. He intercepted the final approach course using the heading mode and autopilot. As he passed the final approach fix, the pilot disengaged the autopilot. At that point he was on course and above glide slope. Published minimums for the approach are 1,349 feet msl, but the pilot said his personal minimum was 2,000 f...

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