NTSB Identification: FTW97LA333.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 31, 1997 in ZAVALLA, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N89268
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The student pilot departed Lufkin, Texas on an instructional solo cross-country flight to Tyler, Texas. The student reported that 'heavy' haze and surrounding storms limited the visibility, and she became disorientated. She estimated that one hour and thirty minutes elapsed before she located an airport. After landing, she learned that she was at the Houston County Airport, Crockett, Texas, but no fuel service was available. Without checking the weather, the student planned a return course and heading to Lufkin. After the flight departed, she deviated from her planned course due to weather. The student reported that she did not calculate new headings or plot the deviation, and consequently, she became disorientated. The student reported that due to a low fuel situation, a precautionary landing was made. Also, she reported that while making a precautionary landing in a grass field, near Zavalla, Texas, the nose gear contacted 'abrupt terrain,' and the airplane came to rest inverted.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's improper planning/decision, becoming lost/disoriented during the flight, and selection of unsuitable terrain for an emergency/precautionary landing. Factors relating to the accident were: the hazy weather condition, and rough terrain in the precautionary landing area. Full narrative available
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