NTSB Identification: SEA95LA033.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, December 27, 1994 in MURPHY, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/31/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 182, registration: N9107X
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

AFTER THE COMPLETION OF AN AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE MISSION, THE PILOT WAS DESCENDING INTO THE AIRPORT OF ORIGINAL DEPARTURE. BECAUSE THIS WAS A DARK NIGHT, AND THERE WERE NO GROUND REFERENCES EXCEPT THE LIGHTS AT A MUNICIPAL BUILDING NEAR THE AIRPORT, THE PILOT USED A LORAN-BASED ALTITUDE/DISTANCE STEP-DOWN PROCEDURE TO MAINTAIN TERRAIN CLEARANCE DURING THE DESCENT. WHILE DESCENDING INTO A 40 KNOT HEADWIND, WITHOUT USING THE LANDING LIGHT, THE PILOT LOOKED INSIDE THE AIRCRAFT TO SET UP FOR THE LANDING. JUST AFTER HE LOOKED INSIDE, THE PASSENGER YELLED THAT THE LIGHTS NEAR THE AIRPORT HAD DISAPPEARED. ABOUT ONE SECOND LATER, AS BOTH THE PILOT AND PASSENGER WERE PULLING BACK ON THE YOKE, THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED A RIDGE.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ALTITUDE/CLEARANCE FROM THE TERRAIN. FACTORS INCLUDE A DARK NIGHT AND A STRONG HEADWIND.

Full narrative available

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