November 14, 2004, San Antonio, Texas / Piper PA-31-350


The airplane was destroyed and all five aboard were fatally injured at approximately 1718 Central time after impacting a multi-unit residential building and the ground following a loss of control while on an instrument approach to Runway 3 at the San Antonio (Texas) International Airport (SAT). The Commercial pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was in effect. The flight originated near Dodge City, Kan., at approximately 1345. Preliminary radar data shows that the aircraft remained initially left of the localizer course line before turning right of the localizer approximately two miles before the final approach fix (FAF). Radar then showed the aircraft turn to the left of course line. When the aircraft was abeam the FAF, it was approximately 1 mile left of the course line. As the aircraft closed to approximately 1.5 miles from the runway threshold, the aircraft had veered about 1.3 miles left of the course line, at which time ATC instructed the pilot to turn left to a heading of 270 degrees. The aircraft continued to turn left through the assigned heading and appeared to be heading back to the ILS course line. Thereafter, the aircraft descended below radar coverage (approximately 1200 feet msl). A witness reported observing the airplane in a near-vertical attitude as it impacted trees and the side of an apartment complex.


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