NTSB Identification: CHI95FA082.
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Accident occurred Sunday, February 05, 1995 in VALPARAISO, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/24/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 310L, registration: N157JW
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.

IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING A NEW FREQUENCY ASSIGNMENT, WHILE DESCENDING INTO A CLOUD LAYER WITH REPORTED MODERATE TURBULENCE AND MODERATE RIME ICING, THE PILOT REPORTED 'I HAVE A LITTLE VACUUM FAILURE. I'M GONNA CLIMB OUTTA HERE.' EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE REVEALED NO EVIDENCE OF AN AIRFRAME OR ENGINE MALFUNCTION. BOTH VACUUM PUMPS OPERATED NORMALLY WHEN BENCH TESTED AND INSPECTION OF ALL VACUUM SYSTEM COMPONENTS REVEALED NO EVIDENCE OF PREIMPACT MALFUNCTION. THE DRUMS ON THE VACUUM DRIVEN VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL GYROS, AND THE ELECTRIC TURN AND BANK GYRO, SHOWED SUBSTANTIAL ROTATIONAL SCORING.

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

spatial disorientation of the pilot while descending into the clouds. Factors were the moderate turbulance and snow.

Full narrative available

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