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Last updated: 5 August 2020
Date:Thursday 13 November 1997
Type:Silhouette image of generic BE10 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beechcraft B100 King Air
Operator:A & H Aircraft Sales
Registration: N500ML
C/n / msn: BE-78
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Madison, MS (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Muscle Shoals Airport, AL (MSL/KMSL), United States of America
Destination airport:Jackson International Airport, MS (JAN/KJAN), United States of America
During an IFR arrival, vectors were provided for an ILS runway 16L approach. While on assigned heading and altitude of 270 degrees and 3,000 feet, about 8 miles north of the final approach fix, the pilot was told to turn left to 185 degrees and maintain 2,200 feet until established on the localizer, then he was cleared for the approach. The pilot acknowledged the instructions. About 1 minute later, communication and radar contact with the airplane were lost. Eye witnesses near the accident site observed the airplane as it descended below the cloud layer. The airplane was described as being in a steep left bank with the nose down. Witnesses also stated that the engines were revving. Within seconds of the visual sighting, the airplane crashed. Examination of the airframe failed to disclose a mechanical problem. No fire or smoke was seen coming from the airplane before it crashed. The pilot did not report experiencing a problem with the airplane to the tower controller. Toxicology tests of the pilot indicated O.323 mcg/ml chlorpheniramine (a sedating antihistamine) in liver fluid and 0.073 mcg/ml chlorpheniramine in kidney fluid. Also, unspecified levels of dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), pseudoephedrine (a decibgestabt), and phenylpropanolamine (a decongestant) were reported in kidney and liver fluids. All medications are available in over-the-counter cold remedies.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's failure to maintain control of the aircraft due to spatial disorientation. A related factor was: the instrument weather conditions."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 4 months
Accident number: ATL98FA009
Download report: Summary report


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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 Muscle Shoals Airport, AL to Jackson International Airport, MS as the crow flies is 352 km (220 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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