August 14, 2006, Sault Ste Marie, Mich./Piper PA-23-250


At 0918 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed following an in-flight collision with terrain and subsequent explosion while attempting to land. Instrument conditions prevailed; the flight instructor, dual student and two passengers were fatally injured.

While being cleared for the VOR-A approach, the pilot stated his intention to land on Runway 27. Radar data shows the airplane approached the airport from the northeast, crossed over the intersection of Runways 9/27 and 16/34 at about 1060 feet msl, and then proceeded eastbound at about 960 feet msl. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane traveling eastbound, approximately 150 to 200 feet above ground, then perform a left turn back toward airport before impacting nose first into the terrain. Several witnesses stated that they could see the entire bottom side of the airplane before it impacted the terrain.


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