NTSB Identification: CHI97FA024.
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Accident occurred Monday, November 04, 1996 in CHANCELLOR, SD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 177B, registration: N34994
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 noninstrument-rated pilot was operating the airplane with an inoperative directional gyro. The flight arrived and requested a landing at a controlled airport at night, in instrument meteorological conditions. The air traffic controller suggested headings to an uncontrolled airport; however, the pilot was unable to navigate to that location. The airplane departed controlled flight and impacted the terrain. Subsequent investigation failed to reveal any additional pre-existing anomalies in the airplane.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's attempted flight with known deficiencies in equipment, his initiating VFR flight into IMC conditions, his spatial disorientation and loss of control of the airplane. Factors were fog, dark night, and inoperative directional gyro. Full narrative available
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