NTSB Identification: SEA95FA037.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Saturday, January 14, 1995 in BLYN, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/19/1996
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N1535E
Injuries: 3 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 AIRCRAFT DEPARTED SEQUIN, WA IN VFR CONDITIONS TOWARDS A CLOUD BANK, AT NIGHT, TURNING SOUTH TOWARDS UPSLOPING TERRAIN. A MODE C RADAR TRACK SHOWED A CLIMB TO 2,600 FT MSL, FOLLOWED BY A DESCENT BACK TO 2,200 FT. THE TRACK SHOWED THE AIRCRAFT PASSING OVER A 2,018-FT HILL, FORESTED WITH 100-FT OR MORE CONIFER TREES, AND THEN EXECUTING A 360 DEG LEFT TURN, ACCOMPLISHED IN 1.5 MIN, WHILE MAINTAINING 2,200 FT. IN THE TURN THE PILOT CALLED APPROACH DECLARING A 'STRUCTURAL PROBLEM.' THE SURVIVOR REPORTED THE AIRCRAFT IN 'TURBULENCE,' IN CONDITIONS THAT WERE 'THICK AND GRAY,' AND THAT THE PILOT WAS 'WORKING HARD TO CONTROL THE AIRCRAFT' APPROX 1 MIN BEFORE THE CRASH. A LEADING EDGE IMPACT ON THE LEFT WING WAS CONSISTENT WITH A WINGS LEVEL, FLAT AIRCRAFT ATTITUDE COLLISION WITH THE 2-IN DIAM CONIFER TREETOP. THE AIRCRAFT WAS 25 LBS OVER THE MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT AT TAKEOFF. THE PILOT'S TOXICOLOGY SAMPLES TESTED POSITIVE FOR TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL CARBOXYLIC ACID (MARIHUANA); 0.003 UG/ML BLOOD, 0.038 UG/ML URINE.

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

THE PILOT'S VFR FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS. FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT WERE THE WEATHER CONDITIONS AND THE DARK NIGHT.

Full narrative available

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