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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 36537
Last updated: 20 October 2017
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Time:06:05 CDT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA31 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-31P Pressurized Navajo
Owner/operator:Merline Nix
Registration: N100EE
C/n / msn: 31P-7530003
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1.8 nm from Louisville Winston County Airport, Louisville, Mississippi -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Tupelo Municipal-CD Lemons Airport, Tupelo, Mississippi (TUP/KTUP)
Destination airport:Louisville Winston County Airport, Louisville, Mississippi (LMS/KLMS)
On September 27, 1999, about 06:05 CDT (Central Daylight Time) a Piper PA-31P, N100EE, registered to a private individual, collided with a tree then the runway during a non-precision instrument approach to Louisville Winston County Airport (LMS), Louisville, Mississippi. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. The airplane was destroyed by impact and post-crash fire and the commercial-rated pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The flight originated about 05:26 CDT, from Tupelo Municipal-CD Lemons Airport, Tupelo, Mississippi.

According to a transcription of communications with Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), at 05:26.26 CDT, the pilot contacted the facility and advised that the flight had departed Tupelo, was at 1,000 feet requesting IFR clearance to Louisville. The flight was cleared as filed, then cleared to climb to 4,000 feet, which was acknowledged by the pilot. At 05:48.02 CDT, the flight was cleared to descend and maintain 3,000 feet which was acknowledged by the pilot. At 05:48.14 CDT, the controller advised the pilot that there was no weather reporting at his destination airport but provided the weather for the Golden Triangle Airport that included the altimeter setting of 30.01 inHg. At 05:48.34 CDT, the controller radioed the pilot and stated, "yes sir are you ah ah vmc conditions now or imc." The pilot advised the controller that the flight was above a layer and requested the non-directional beacon (NDB) instrument approach to runway 17.

At 05:49.17 CDT, the flight was cleared for the NDB instrument approach to runway 17 at the Louisville airport, which was acknowledged by the pilot. At 05:50.31 CDT, the controller advised the pilot to report the procedure turn inbound, which was acknowledged. At 05:59.30 CDT, the pilot advised the controller, "and Memphis ah zero echo echo, its not looking to good down here at Louisville they look like they're socked in we're gonna give it a shot we would like to put Starkville down for an alternate."

At 05:59.57 CDT, the controller advised the pilot that Starkville was listed as the alternate airport and at 06:01.01 CDT, the pilot advised the controller that the flight was, "...turning inbound on the ndb one seven approach Louisville." The controller advised the pilot at 06:01.08 CDT, that radar services were terminated and frequency change to the advisory frequency was approved. The pilot acknowledged the transmission at 06:01.19 CDT; there were no further recorded transmissions from the pilot.

According to five individuals (non-pilots) who were waiting at the airport for the airplane to land; and planned to be flown by the accident pilot to an airport in Ohio, the weather condition at the LMS airport consisted of low heavy fog. One of the individuals reported that it took him an additional 15 minutes to drive to work due to the fog. The airport where the accident occurred has an outside mounted speaker which broadcasts communications of the UNICOM frequency. The individuals reported that the airport rotating beacon was on and the runway lights for runway 17/35, were on a low intensity setting.

They reported hearing a "clicking" sound over the speaker and noted that the intensity of the runway lights increased. The airplane flew over the airport two times, the first time was from the north to the south at a high altitude, and the second time from the south to the north. They heard the pilot announce his approach over the speaker and one of the individuals picked up the microphone and radioed the pilot over the UNICOM frequency stating who he was and they could meet at another airport due to the fog. The pilot responded that we probably will but let me shoot this approach and I will get back to you. You should hear me in about 40 seconds. They then heard the pilot communicate over the UNICOM frequency, "Oh, there is fog rolling into Starkville too?" While standing outside, they heard the engines operating at full power then heard two sounds followed by another sound. They observed a fireball cross the runway and heard two explosions. At no time did they observe the airplane while airborne and they reported that the pilot sounded calm while he was communicating on the UNICOM frequency.

Review of the Data Analysis and Reduction Tool (DART) Log and Track Sort provided by the Memphis ARTCC revealed that from the time the pilot reported that the flight was procedure turn inbound (06:01.01 CDT) to the last radar target (06:04.19 CDT), revealed that the airplane descended from 2,800 to 1,300 feet mean sea level (msl). The heading changed from 003 degrees magnetic to the last recorded heading of 174 degrees. The last radar target occurred at 33 degrees 10 minutes 36 seconds North Latitude and 089 degrees 04 minutes 27 seconds West Longitude.

That location when plotted was determined to be located about 1.8 nautical miles from the approach end of runway 17.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: The pilot's disregard for the published minimum descent altitude resulting in tree contact and separation of 51 inches of the left wing. Findings in the investigation were the pilot's two failures of the ATP checkride in a multiengine airplane.


1. NTSB Identification: MIA99FA269 at
2. FAA:

Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
25-Jun-2015 18:39 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
25-Jun-2015 18:40 Dr. John Smith Updated [Destination airport]
25-Jun-2015 18:42 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
16-Oct-2017 13:38 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]

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