NTSB Identification: SEA96LA068.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 13, 1996 in POINT OF ROCKS, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/1996
Aircraft: Schweizer G-164B, registration: N3632T
Injuries: 1 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.
The accident pilot was flying in formation with two other airplanes on a ferry flight. All three airplanes were restricted category agricultural aircraft that were being ferried from Missouri to Idaho. The pilots were on a day-VFR cross-country flight in preparation for a season of agricultural spraying. They encountered a localized area of low ceilings, reduced visibility, and snow during a final leg of the flight, and they began to follow an interstate highway. One of the pilots reversed course and landed uneventfully at an airport. Another pilot landed on a highway. The pilot of the accident airplane strayed away from the interstate and entered instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Subsequently, the accident airplane entered a steep descent and crashed in a nose-down attitude. There was evidence that the engine was operating at a high power setting, when the airplane crashed. The aircraft was not equipped for flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). No preimpact mechanical malfunction or failure of the airplane or its engine was found.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's inadvertent VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), and his failure to maintain aircraft control due to spatial disorientation. Factors relating to the accident were: the low ceiling and snow. Full narrative available
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