NTSB Identification: MIA97FA176.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 02, 1997 in COMERIO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N4752D
Injuries: 3 Fatal,1 Serious.

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.

Witnesses saw the airplane flying at low altitude and turn into rising terrain. According to witness statements, the airplane was seen performing a '360 degree turn in a clockwise direction...in a straight and level attitude,' heading toward rising terrain; it then 'hit' a palm tree and crashed into a private residence. The terrain was rising from an estimated elevation of about 660 feet mean sea level (msl) at the lowest point. The elevation at the crash site was about 1,815 feet msl, and the top of the rising terrain was about 3,630 feet msl. Several witnesses, who had reached the crash site, said the airplane came to rest in a house, but at first, there was no fire. The passenger in the left rear seat was the first to be removed. The other three occupants were still in the wreckage when a fire erupted. According to the witnesses, the fire started about 25 to 30 minutes after the accident. The fire was too intense to remove any of the other victims. There was no injures to ground personnel. Control continuity was established to all flight controls. Disassembly of the engine did not reveal any discrepancies.

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

the pilot's improper in-flight planning/decision, which resulted in his failure to maintain sufficient altitude/clearance from obstructions on rising terrain.

Full narrative available

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