Over the years we’ve seen a relatively large number of approach accidents involving aerodynamic stalls during the last moments of instrument approaches. The airplanes involved — often turboprops — are typically flown by experienced, professionally qualified pilots who somehow get behind the situation as they transition from instruments to visual reference. More often than not, the operation is single pilot.
This month, we’ll look at the investigation into the loss of Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 N80HH. The pilot and three passengers were killed when the aircraft crashed during an instrument approach to Runway 07 at Lorain County Regional Airport (LPR) in Elyria, Ohio. This accident is in no way extraordinary, and that is what makes it worth reviewing, I think. Perhaps in examining the investigator’s findings, you’ll come away with the sense that the last moments of an instrument approach are always the most critical.