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Flight Assist - IFR Aircraft Loses Instrument Panel
Citation 525
Flight path of N242BS from FlightAware

On December 16, 2016 N242BS a Citation on an IFR flight plan was attempting an instrument approach into Houston Hobby Airport (HOU). The weather around the entire Houston area was IFR. The pilot lost all instrumentation in the cockpit and was having trouble maintaining straight and level flight. After looking at all the local airports around the Houston area, it was determined, the best chance the pilot had at making a successful landing was in Galveston, TX at GLS. The weather at Galveston was marginal VFR. Natalie Hart was working the aircraft and issued the pilot of N242BS no-gyro vectors for about 30 miles towards the GLS airport. She directed him towards the airport and descended the aircraft to the lowest altitude she could vector the pilot at. The pilot stated they were familiar with the Galveston area and started to descend below the MVA on his own. Natalie issued the pilot a low altitude alert and the pilot stated that he wanted to go VFR. Natalie continued to give guidance to the aircraft towards Galveston airport as the pilot still could not see the airport. The aircraft finally got the airport in sight and landed safely. He called the facility to express his gratitude for the service that was provided and was pretty choked up about the whole event.

The ATC Audio and Video is posted below along with the pilot’s phone call to the facility.