Date & Time: Dec 5, 1971 at 2323 LT
Operator:
Air Lease
Registration:
N78D
Flight Type:
Executive
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Knoxville - New Orleans
MSN:
680-1580-33
YOM:
1966
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
1
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
2
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
5812
Circumstances:
On a night approach to New Orleans-Lakefront Airport, the pilot encountered poor weather conditions with low ceiling. Unable to locate the runway, he abandoned the approach and initiated a go-around. Few minutes later, during a second attempt to land, he decided to descend below MDA when the twin engine airplane struck the water surface and crashed into Lake Pontchartrain few miles short of runway. All three occupants were killed but only two bodies were recovered.
Probable cause:
Improper IFR operation on part of the pilot. The following factors were reported:
- Low ceiling,
- Pilot fatigue,
- The pilot descended below minimums and below MDA on localizer approach,
- Crashed into lake on second attempt to land.
Final Report:
N78D.pdf115.35 KB