Narrative:Piedmont flight 230 was on an ILS localizer only approach to Charleston-Kanawha County Airport (CRW) runway 23 when it struck trees 360 feet from the runway threshold. The aircraft continued and struck up sloping terrain (+30deg) 250 feet short in a 4-5deg nose down attitude, slightly left wing down. The Fairchild continued up the hill and on to the airport, coming to rest 6 feet beyond the threshold and 50 feet from the right edge of the runway.
A layer of dense fog (about 150 feet thick) was obscuring the threshold and about half of the approach lights. Visual conditions existed outside the fog area.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "An unrecognized loss of altitude orientation during the final portion of an approach into shallow, dense fog. The disorientation was caused by a rapid reduction in the ground guidance segment available to the pilot at a point beyond which a go-around could not be successfully effected."
» ICAO Circular 107-AN/81 (p.283-302)
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
Six safety recommendations were issued as a result of this accident. The recommendations a.o. focused on the dangers of shallow fog penetration.
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, KY to Charleston-Kanawha County Airport, WV as the crow flies is 275 km (172 miles).