NTSB Identification: ATL94FA121.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Friday, June 17, 1994 in YOUNGSTOWN, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/25/1995
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AA-5B, registration: N74693
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PRIVATE, NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT WAS RETURNING HOME, VFR, AT NIGHT. HE INITIALLY RECEIVED VFR FLIGHT FOLLOWING FROM EGLIN APPROACH, AND WAS GIVEN A FREQUENCY CHANGE TO JAX CENTER. NO SUBSEQUENT COMMUNICATIONS WERE RECEIVED FROM THE PILOT, ALTHOUGH JAX CENTER REPORTED THAT THE RADIO FREQUENCY THAT THE PILOT WAS GIVEN WAS NOT THE CORRECT ONE, AND TRANSMISSIONS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GOOD ON THAT FREQUENCY. RADAR DATA INDICATED THAT THE AIRCRAFT WAS TRAVELING EAST NORTHEAST AT 2,400 FEET WHEN IT ENTERED A DESCENDING, RIGHT HAND TURN. RADAR CONTACT WAS LOST AT 400 FEET, WITH THE AIRCRAFT IN A STEEP, RIGHT HAND DESCENDING TURN. THE WRECKAGE WAS FOUND IN AN OPEN, PLOWED FIELD. GENERAL DISINTEGRATION OF THE WRECKAGE INDICATED A HIGH ENERGY IMPACT WITH TERRAIN. NO EVIDENCE OF MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION OR FAILURE WAS OBSERVED DURING THE WRECKAGE EXAM. THE AREA OF THE CRASH SITE WAS REMOTE FARMLAND, WITH A MARKED ABSENCE OF GROUND LIGHTING. LOCAL AREA THUNDERSTORMS AND HIGH CLOUD COVER PRODUCED CONDITIONS CONDUCIVE TO SPATIAL DISORIENTATION. THE PILOT'S TOTAL FLIGHT TIME WAS 115 HOURS (12 HOURS AT NIGHT).

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

SPATIAL DISORIENTATION EXPERIENCED BY THE PILOT, WHICH RESULTED IN HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN AIRCRAFT CONTROL. FACTORS WERE THE CONDITIONS CONDUCIVE TO SPATIAL DISORIENTATION (DARK NIGHT LIGHTING CONDITIONS, HIGH CLOUD COVER, THUNDERSTORMS), AND THE PILOT'S LACK OF NIGHT FLYING EXPERIENCE.

Full narrative available

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