NTSB Identification: NYC96FA035.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 03, 1995 in RUSH TOWNSHIP, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/17/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N67369
Injuries: 1 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 had transmitted a 'MAYDAY', and radar and radio communications were established with the pilot by the Altoona Flight Service Station (FSS). The pilot reported '...I'm lost and...give me vectors to an airport.' He was given his location and asked to verify his altitude. He responded that he was at 3,300 feet, but the recorded radar data showed that the altitude was actually 3,000 feet. The controller asked the pilot if he was IFR qualified and was the aircraft equipped for IFR flight. The pilot answered he was 'not IFR rated,' but that the airplane was equipped for IFR flight. The pilot further informed the controller that he had half tanks of fuel remaining in both fuel tanks. The controller asked the pilot if he was in 'good' VFR flight condition and the pilot answered 'negative sir in and out.' Radar showed that the airplane was at 2,600 feet, and the controller advised the pilot that the emergency safe altitude was 2,500 feet. The pilot was also advised that the closest airport to his current position with acceptable ceilings was 20 to 25 miles northeast. The pilot was asked if he could maintain VFR conditions at 3,000 feet. He never answered. An ELT signal was heard and communications was never reestablished. The last two radar returns showed that the airplane was heading in a southerly direction, at altitudes of 2,600 and 2,700 feet. Searchers located the airplane wreckage in rising mountainous terrain the next morning at an elevation of 2,100 feet. The top of the mountain that the airplane impacted was 2,600 feet. Witnesses had heard a low flying aircraft in the area just before the accident, but couldn't see the airplane due to the heavy clouds and fog.

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

the pilot's continued flight into adverse weather conditions which resulted in becoming lost and disorientated and subsequent impact with rising terrain. Factors in this accident were fog and a dark night.

Full narrative available

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