NTSB Identification: NYC96FA101.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 06, 1996 in RIDGEFIELD, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1997
Aircraft: Cessna P210N, registration: N450T
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.

At 0857 edt, the pilot of Cessna P210N, N450T, contacted the FAA Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) at Millville, NJ. He stated his intention to file an IFR flight plan from Morristown, NJ to Bedford, MA, at 5000 feet and requested a standard weather briefing. The briefer provided info from AIRMET Zule, Update 1, that the freezing level was at 10,000 feet, but said '...the freezing level up around Boston is at 5,000 feet, so anything 5 and above you might pick up icing there.' The pilot filed for 7,000 feet. At 0945 edt, after the pilot had received his weather briefing, AIRMET Zulu, Update 2 was issued, which called for light occasional moderate rime and mixed icing in the clouds and precipitation. Also, it cautioned that the freezing level would be from the surface to 4,000 feet, north of the pilot's destination, sloping to 8,000 feet at his departure point. At 1035, the pilot took off. About 30 minutes later, the airplane's single turbine engine experienced a completed loss of power. The airplane then descended in IMC and collided with trees during a forced landing. Examination of the wreckage revealed no preimpact failure of the engine, airframe, fuel system, or propeller. Investigation revealed N450T was not certifcated for flight in known icing conditions, and that the pilot did not use all anti-ice and deicing equipment as specified by the operator's manual. The pilot of another airplane departed an airport near the accident site. He reported icing at 7,000 feet, but no icing after a descent to 5,000 feet.

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

improper planning/decision by the pilot, which led to flight into icing conditions; and his failure to use all anti-ice and deicing equipment, as specified by the airplane operator's manual for inadvertent flight into icing conditions. This resulted in loss of engine power due to ice, a forced landing, and subsequent collision with trees during the forced landing. Factors relating to the accident were: the adverse weather (icing) condition, failure of a FAA Flight Service Station briefer to provide adequate icing advisories to the pilot, and low ceiling and trees in the emergency landing area.

Full narrative available

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