NTSB Identification: FTW95FA111.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, February 08, 1995 in LARKSPUR, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/26/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 177RG, registration: N33MR
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 PILOT FIRST MADE 3 INFLIGHT CONTACTS WITH THE DENVER AFSS, AND WAS ADVISED OF FORECAST ICING CONDITIONS AND TURBULENCE ALONG HIS ROUTE. HE WAS TOLD THAT VFR FLIGHT WAS NOT RECOMMENDED BECAUSE PILOTS HAD REPORTED CLOUD BASES 'ON THE GROUND.' THE PILOT THEN LANDED AT COLORADO SPRINGS DUE TO DETERIORATING WEATHER CONDITIONS, AND OBTAINED THREE MORE TELEPHONE BRIEFINGS FROM THE AFSS. DURING THE LAST BRIEFING, HE WAS TOLD THAT ALTHOUGH VFR CONDITIONS WERE BEING REPORTED AT COLORADO SPRINGS AND CENTENNIAL AIRPORT (HIS DESTINATION), THERE WAS A BAND OF LEVEL ONE PRECIPITATION ACROSS HIS ROUTE OF FLIGHT, AND WAS ADVISED NOT TO ATTEMPT VFR FLIGHT. THE PILOT TOOK OFF FOR THE 30 MIN FLIGHT TO CENTENNIAL AIRPORT. A WITNESS NEAR THE ACCIDENT SITE HEARD A LOW-FLYING AIRPLANE PASS OVER HIS HOUSE. SHORTLY THEREAFTER, HE HEARD A LOUD NOISE AND OBSERVED A FIRE. THE WITNESS SAID IT WAS SNOWING HEAVILY AT THE TIME, AND VISIBILITY WAS LESS THAN 1/4 MI. A LOCAL RESIDENT ALSO REPORTED THAT AT 1955 HE SCRAPED A THIN LAYER OF ICE FROM HIS WINDSHIELD.

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

THE PILOT'S DECISION TO CONTINUE VFR FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS AFTER BEING ADVISED THAT VFR FLIGHT WAS NOT RECOMMENDED. THE WEATHER AND DARK NIGHT WERE FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT.

Full narrative available

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