NTSB Identification: ATL97FA092.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 07, 1996 in CHARLESTON, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 182, registration: N8683T
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.

The flight was a local search and rescue mission that departed from Georgetown, SC in visual meteorological conditions. According to FSS personnel, the pilot did not receive a weather briefing or file a flight plan. While in contact with Charleston Approach Control, the pilot reported instrument conditions and requested assistance. The air traffic controllers gave him a number of different headings in order to remain clear of the instrument conditions. After the pilot advised that he had less than 30 minutes of fuel left on board, the controller advised the pilot to fly, wings level, through the clouds for 10 miles in order to reach the nearest airport. While in the clouds, the pilot stated, 'What's happening to me'. At 1756:38, radio and radar contact was lost about 28 miles southeast of Charleston, SC. The airplane was found 3/6/97 but it was not recovered. The noninstrument-rated private pilot and his passenger are presumed to have received fatal injuries.

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

The noninstrument-rated pilot's failure to remain clear of instrument meteorological conditions which led to spatial disorientation and loss of aircraft control. A factor was the pilot's failure to obtain a weather briefing.

Full narrative available

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