Narrative:Approaching Reno (RNO), the pilot received an instrument clearance to perform a Localizer DME-1, runway 16R, approach, which the FAA had previously approved for the operator's use. The localizer centreline passed over a 6,161-foot (1885 m) msl mountain, which was depicted on the chart. The pilot was familiar with the area, having transported cargo from Sacramento to Reno for 5 days each week since December, 1994. IMC existed and light snow showers were present. ATC issued the pilot a series of instructions as he was radar vectored toward the final approach fix (FAF), which had a minimum crossing altitude of 6,700 feet (2050 m) msl. The pilot misstated four of the instructions during clearance read backs and was corrected by ATC each time. Contact with the pilot was lost following issuance of his landing clearance. The airplane impacted the mountainside at an elevation of about 6,050 feet (1851 m), while tracking inbound near the centreline of the localizer course, about 2.7 nautical miles before reaching the FAF.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's failure to comply with published instrument approach procedures by a premature descent below the minimum altitude specified for the approach. "
» NTSB id LAX95FA141
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 Sacramento Metropolitan Airport, CA to Reno/Tahoe International Airport, NV as the crow flies is 180 km (112 miles).