NTSB Identification: MIA96FA047.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 17, 1995 in CULEBRA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/06/1996
Aircraft: CESSNA 205, registration: N8415Z
Injuries: 3 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.

Witnesses stated they observed the airplane takeoff at night and fly (depart) over the city until it disappeared from view behind the mountains. The weather was windy with rain about to fall, and the ceiling was about 1,000 feet. The only visible light was over the city. The airplane was located 2 days later. Examination of the crash site revealed the airplane collided with the terrain, while in a descending left turn. Examination of the airframe, flight controls, engine assembly and accessories revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. The pilot's last recorded night flight was 3 years 9 months before the accident.

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

Failure of the pilot to maintain sufficient altitude/clearance above the terrain, while maneuvering at night. Factors relating to the accident were: darkness with no visible horizon, and the pilot's lack of recent experience in night flight.

Full narrative available

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