NTSB Identification: BFO95FA001.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Sunday, October 09, 1994 in FANCY GAP, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/23/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N734NB
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 STUDENT PILOT WAS ON A RETURN VFR FLIGHT AFTER VISITING FAMILY RELATIVES WHEN THE AIRCRAFT ENCOUNTERED INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS AND COLLIDED WITH TREES IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. THERE WERE NO WITNESSES WHO SAW THE CRASH; HOWEVER, SEVERAL WITNESSES IN THE AREA REPORTED SEEING AN AIRPLANE FLYING IN AND OUT OF CLOUDS, AND ALONG AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY. THE WEATHER WAS DESCRIBED AS FOG AND RAIN. ACCORDING TO THE OWNER, THE PILOT WAS NOT AUTHORIZED TO USE THE AIRPLANE. FAA RECORDS INDICATE THE PILOT WAS LAST ISSUED A THIRD CLASS MEDICAL CERTIFICATE IN JULY 1989 AT WHICH TIME THE PILOT REPORTED 23 HOURS OF TOTAL FLIGHT TIME. THE EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE DID NOT DISCLOSE EVIDENCE OF PREACCIDENT MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION.

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

The pilot's inadequate inflight planning and his failure to maintain adequate terrain clearance. Other related factors are: fog, rain, VFR flight into IMC, inexperience and mountainous terrain.

Full narrative available

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