NTSB Identification: SEA95FA031.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 18, 1994 in GRANTSVILLE, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/24/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32R-300, registration: N175MC
Injuries: 4 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 NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PRIVATE PILOT RECEIVED A WEATHER BRIEFING FOR A VFR FLIGHT OVER 5 HOURS BEFORE HE ACTUALLY DEPARTED. HE AND HIS THREE PASSENGERS DEPARTED AT NIGHT IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN AND IN VFR CONDITIONS WITH THE INTENTION OF FLYING TO AN AIRPORT LOCATED 90 MILES AWAY FOR DINNER. THE PILOT RECEIVED ATC RADAR ADVISORIES AND REPORTED THAT THE CEILINGS WERE GETTING LOWER ALONG HIS ROUTE OF FLIGHT. HE WAS ADVISED BY ATC THAT AREAS OF LEVEL ONE AND TWO PRECIPITATION EXISTED IN FRONT OF HIM. THE AIRPLANE CONTINUED TO DESCEND AFTER ATC SERVICES WERE TERMINATED. RADAR DATA FOR THE AIRPLANE WAS LOST SHORTLY THEREAFTER. THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED A MOUNTAIN RIDGE ABOUT 6,200 FEET MSL AND WAS DESTROYED. THE RIDGE IS LOCATED ALONG A DIRECT LINE FROM THE DEPARTURE AIRPORT TO THE DESTINATION AIRPORT. NO DISTRESS CALLS WERE RECORDED FROM THE PILOT, AND NO EVIDENCE OF PRE-IMPACT MECHANICAL DEFICIENCIES WERE FOUND. LOCALIZED ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS, INCLUDING LOW CEILINGS AND SNOW, WERE REPORTED MOVING WEST TO EAST AS THE AIRPLANE FLEW EAST TO WEST.

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

THE VFR PILOT'S ATTEMPT TO CONTINUE THE FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ALTITUDE/CLEARANCE WITH MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

Full narrative available

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