Preliminary Accident Reports

October 2007 Issue

August 6, 2007, Sitka, Alaska, Piper PA-46

The airplane was destroyed by impact and post-impact fire when it collided with trees and a residence at about 1255 Alaska time during an RNAV GPS instrument approach. The private, instrument-rated pilot, and the three passengers aboard received fatal injuries. Instrument conditions prevailed. According to the FAA, the airplane had been cleared for the RNAV GPS 11 approach; the pilot reported he was planning a circling approach to runway 29. Witnesses reported that the weather in the area included low clouds and reduced visibility due to rain. One witness saw the airplane descending from the base of clouds, which he estimated as 500 feet above the ground. The airplane collided with several trees, separating the outboard portion of the left wing. The inboard section of the left wing separated from the fuselage just prior to the airplane’s collision with a house. An extensive postcrash fire consumed the residence, and destroyed the airplane.

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