NTSB Identification: FTW97FA073.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 25, 1996 in BRACKETTVILLE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 210L, registration: N30891
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 airplane impacted the northwest facing slope of a ridge at an elevation of 1,950 feet MSL, while configured for cruise flight. This occurred as the noninstrument-rated private pilot was returning home on a night VFR flight over hilly and sparsely populated terrain. Low ceilings prevailed throughout the area. The pilot's instructor stated that the pilot knew the area well, and that he was aware of the rising terrain. The flight instructor recalled that he talked to the pilot on the afternoon of the accident, and after discussing the worsening weather conditions, he encouraged the pilot to stay in Del Rio that night. The pilot was in real estate business. The flight instructor believed the pilot felt pressured to get home that evening, because he had a nine o'clock appointment the next morning in Austin to inspect a property that he had sold. The flaps and landing gear were found in the retracted position. The elevator trim was found in the neutral position. No evidence of preimpact mechanical failure or malfunction was found.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: failure of the pilot to maintain sufficient altitude and/or clearance from terrain, while on a cross-country flight at night. Factors relating to the accident were: darkness, the prevailing low ceilings, and mountainous/hilly terrain. Full narrative available
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