NTSB Identification: FTW95FA222.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 29, 1995 in BYERS, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/19/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N55114
Injuries: 4 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 ENTERED IMC WHILE IN CRUISE FLIGHT AT NIGHT. THE PILOT HAD ACCUMULATED A TOTAL OF 4 HOURS OF SIMULATED INSTRUMENT TIME. THE PILOT RECEIVED A COMPLETE WEATHER BRIEFING PRIOR TO DEPARTING. VFR FLIGHT WAS NOT RECOMMENDED WITHIN 200 MILES OF HIS DESTINATION DUE TO LOW CEILINGS AND POOR VISIBILITIES. THE PILOT UPDATED THE WEATHER AT HIS TWO REFUELING STOPS. WRECKAGE WAS FOUND IN A WHEAT FIELD SCATTERED OVER 283 FEET ON A HEADING OF 305 DEGREES. THE INBOUND COURSE FROM THE POINT OF DEPARTURE WOULD HAVE BEEN 208 DEGREES. THE PILOT TOLD AN FBO MANAGER THAT HE PLANNED TO STOP SHORT OF THE INSTRUMENT CONDITIONS AND WAIT FOR WEATHER CONDITIONS TO IMPROVE. THE WRECKAGE WAS LOCATED 40 NM BEYOND HIS INTENDED STOPPING POINT.

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

THE PILOT'S CONTINUED VFR FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS AND THE SUBSEQUENT LOSS OF CONTROL DUE TO SPATIAL DISORIENTATION. FACTORS WERE THE LOW CEILINGS, THE DARK NIGHT CONDITIONS, AND THE PILOT'S LACK OF TOTAL INSTRUMENT TIME.

Full narrative available

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