NTSB Identification: MIA96LA029.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 25, 1995 in KINGS BAY, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/1996
Aircraft: Bellanca BL-17-30A, registration: N28049
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

About 1745, while over Hilton Head airport en route to the pilot's planned fuel stop, the passenger/pilot's wife, using a cellular phone, reported to a friend that her husband couldn't descend below the clouds. At 1817, the pilot advised Jacksonville tower that the flight was about 22 miles northeast inbound for landing. One minute later he contacted Jacksonville approach and advised that he would '...get a little bit oriented first,...10 miles east-northeast inbound landing, circle around out here and get a heading or give me vector.' The airplane was assigned a discreet transponder code and the pilot was given the altimeter setting, wind information, and the active runway information. There was no further radio contact with the pilot. Radar data indicates that the airplane began a left descending turn to the east with the ground speed increasing. The airplane impacted the water during a descending left turn and the engine was heard to be operating normally. Examination of the recovered wreckage revealed evidence consistent with a high speed impact with the water.

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

a loss of control due to pilot spatial disorientation. Contributing to the accident was: the dark night condition and the pilot's improper decision to turn to an easterly heading with no ground reference lights available.

Full narrative available

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