NTSB Identification: IAD97FA038.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 01, 1997 in BITTINGER, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/30/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 150F, registration: N8925S
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 departed on a cross-country flight after receiving a briefing that VFR flight was not recommended. No flight plan was filed, and a family member stated that the pilot had made this flight numerous times. Witnesses reported, 'a very low overcast (100 feet), fog, and drizzle, which changed to freezing drizzle and rain within one hour of the accident.' Witnesses stated that they 'heard the airplane circling, but did not see the airplane impact' due to obscuring low clouds. Impact occurred in a pasture in a nose down attitude. Examination of the wreckage revealed no preimpact malfunction.

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

VFR flight by the noninstrumented-rated pilot into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), which lead to spatial disorientation of the pilot, his loss of aircraft control, and an uncontrolled collision with the terrain. Factors relating to the accident were: the adverse weather conditions, and the pilot's lack of instrument experience.

Full narrative available

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