NTSB Identification: ATL96FA094.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 13, 1996 in ARLINGTON, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/1999
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N73941
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.

According to a friend of the pilot, when the flight departed there were no apparent airplane problems observed as he watched the airplane fly south for about ten minutes. The flight never arrived at the destination airport. After an alert notice was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration, local law and volunteer groups initiated a search for the missing airplane. On June 17, 1996, at 1800 hours, the airplane wreckage was located in a wooded area two miles north of the destination airport. Examination of the accident site disclosed that aircraft collided with 65 foot tall trees, and wreckage debris was scattered over an area 250 feet long and 45 feet wide. Inspection of the airframe and engine assemblies failed to disclose a mechanical problem. A review of the pilot's medical history disclosed that he had coronary problems, and had been granted a limited class three medical certificate.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance above the trees. A factor was the dark night.

Full narrative available

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