November 27, Jacksonville, Fla. / Swearingen Merlin


At about 0752 eastern time, a Swearingen SA-26-AT was destroyed when it collided with trees while on an instrument approach to the Craig Airport, Jacksonville. The pilot was killed and four passengers reported minor injuries. After a flight lasting about four hours, the pilot decided to attempt the ILS Rwy 32 approach even though ATC had advised him that the airport was below landing minimums and had suggested alternates in the area. Passengers on the airplane said that while en route the pilot had mentioned fog at their destination, but he did not alert them to any possible dangers before the approach. The airplane crashed in a wooded area behind a shopping center. The recorded visibility at the time of the accident was 1/4 mile with a vertical visibility of 100 feet.


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