NTSB Identification: SEA95FA093.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 06, 1995 in SNOQUALMIE PASS, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N855DA
Injuries: 2 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 INSTRUMENT-RATED COMMERCIAL PILOT DEPARTED FROM GIG HARBOR, WASHINGTON, ON A PERSONAL FLIGHT TO MONROE, WASHINGTON. THE AIRPLANE WAS TOPPED OFF WITH FUEL. THE PILOT DID NOT RECEIVE A THOROUGH WEATHER BRIEFING FOR HIS INTENDED ROUTE OF FLIGHT, OR FILE A FLIGHT PLAN. THE AIRPLANE WAS NOT IFR EQUIPPED. AFTER PICKING UP HIS MOTHER AT MONROE, WASHINGTON, THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO CROSS THROUGH THE CASCADE MOUNTAIN RANGE UNDERNEATH LOW LYING CLOUDS ALONG A MOUNTAIN PASS EN ROUTE TO A TOWN IN EASTERN WASHINGTON. NUMEROUS GROUND WITNESSES, SOME WHO WERE PILOTS, OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE FLYING THROUGH THE PASS ABOUT 100 TO 300 FEET ABOVE AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY. THE WITNESSES REPORTED THAT THE AIRPLANE WAS FLYING JUST UNDER A LAYER OF FOG AND LOW CLOUDS, WHICH SHROUDED THE MOUNTAIN TOPS. ONE WITNESS OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE ENTER A CLOUD WHILE TURNING TO REVERSE DIRECTION. THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED A 75-FOOT-TALL TREE AND CAME TO REST IN STEEPLY RISING TERRAIN. NO EVIDENCE OF PRE-IMPACT MECHANICAL MALFUNCTIONS WAS FOUND.

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

THE PILOT'S ATTEMPT TO CONTINUE VFR FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CLEARANCE WITH THE TERRAIN.

Full narrative available

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