NTSB Identification: CHI96FA029.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 10, 1995 in FOND DU LAC, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/24/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-151, registration: N161FS
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 pilot obtained weather briefings at 1118 CST and at 1718 CST. He was advised in both briefings that VFR flight was not recommended. At 1839 CST he activated his VFR flight plan and made no other radio contacts. The pilot had flown a total of 2.8 hours of night time in the last nine months. A local witness reported that there was a 'slight covering of snow but not real windy,' at 2130 CST, but at 2230 CST, the '...wind was howling. Visibility was very low. Could hardly see the yard light 150 feet away. Winds were strong, 25 to 30 miles per hour. Snowing pretty good. Light pole was blurred. 35 feet tall....' The airplane had flown into a marsh about 300 degrees and 3.8 nautical miles from Fond du Lac Airport.

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

the pilot's intentional VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions, and his failure to maintain altitude. Factors included the weather obscuration due to snow and fog, the dark night, and the pilot's lack of recent night flight time.

Full narrative available

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