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A Cessna T210N was on approach into Vichy, Missouri, on the evening of April 11, 1997, when the pilot determined that weather conditions at the airport, which included heavy fog, were too dicey to attempt a landing. A go-around procedure was initiated, but the plane was unable to climb to a sufficient altitude and crashed into some trees, just a half-mile northwest of the airport. Two passengers, including the pilot, were killed, while another was seriously injured. Because of the darkness and fog, it took the first responders three hours to find the wreckage.
The Rolla National Airport in Vichy has an elevation of 1,148 feet, and the minimum descent altitude for the flight was 1,500 feet, meaning that any go-around or missed approach procedure would have to have been initiated at an altitude higher than 1,500 feet. But the surviving passenger testified to seeing the altimeter read 1,300 feet when the pilot initiated the go-around, leading our experts to conclude that the probable cause of the accident was the “failure of the pilot to properly follow the missed approach procedure and maintain the minimum descent altitude (MDA) during night/IFR flight.”
Our victim is survived by his wife.