NTSB Identification: BFO95FA048.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 30, 1995 in LOUISA, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/16/1996
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N20LA
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 NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PRIVATE PILOT FLEW TO THE DESTINATION AIRPORT TO PICK UP A PASSENGER FOR A FLIGHT TO NEW YORK. WHEN THE PILOT ARRIVED IN THE VICINITY OF THE AIRPORT, HE CONTACTED UNICOM FOR ASSISTANCE IN LOCATING THE AIRPORT DUE TO REDUCED VISIBILITY. HE WAS ADVISED THAT INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC) PREVAILED AT THE DESTINATION AIRPORT. WITNESSES REPORTED THAT THE CEILING WAS ABOUT 200 FEET, AND THE VISIBILITY WAS LESS THAN A MILE WITH RAIN AND FOG. THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH TREES ABOUT 500 YARDS FROM THE AIRPORT. EXAMINATION OF THE AIRPLANE DID NOT DISCLOSE EVIDENCE OF MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the non-instrument rated private pilot's continued VFR flight into IMC and failure to maintain adequate altitude/clearance from terrain/obstacles. Related factors were the pilot's lack of total experience in IMC operations, his failure to obtain a preflight weather briefing, and the fog and low ceiling. Full narrative available
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