Jan. 8, Bluefield, W.V. / Cessna 310


At about 07:00 eastern time, a Cessna 310R struck rising terrain during an instrument approach at Mercer County Airport. The pilot was killed. The flight had been cleared for the ILS Runway 23 approach and the pilot reported established on the approach. Radar data showed the airplane joined the localizer and proceeded inbound on course. Due to limited radar coverage, the last radar contact was about three-quarters of a mile inside the final approach fix, still on course, at 4,700 feet. A witness at the airport heard the airplane off in the distance but did not see the airplane fly over the runway because of heavy snow falling at the time. Shortly thereafter, the sound of the engines ceased and the office he was in shuddered. The wreckage was found about a half-mile from the runway to the southeast on terrain that rose to 3,150 feet msl – approximately the decision height for the approach. The missed approach required a climb to 3,800 feet, then a climbing right turn to 5,000 feet.


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