Jan. 18, Somerset, Ky. / Beech King Air


At 12:02 EST, a Beech C-90 struck a communications antenna as it approached the Somerset-Pulaski County Airport, killing the pilot and three passengers. The airplane departed Ohio State University Airport at 10:47. As the airplane neared SME, the Indy Center controller asked the pilot which approach he wanted. The pilot replied that he wanted to execute the SDF [Simplified Directional Finding] approach. The controller approved the pilots request and instructed the pilot to maintain 4,000 feet until established on the approach. The airplane maintained 4,000 feet until it passed abeam of the airport, at which time it began to descend. The last radar contact occurred at 11:59:40 with the plane at 1,900 feet, five miles from the airport and 1.9 miles south of the antenna. The NOS approach plates included the SDF runway 4 approach, but the Airport/Facilities Directory reported the approach was out of service indefinitely. The closure was not included in the Notams but was available to the controller at his work station. The communications tower was listed as an obstruction on all the instrument approach procedures for SME. The pilot had more than 15,000 hours.


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