NTSB Identification: LAX97FA331.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 25, 1997 in SANDY VALLEY, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/30/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 172K, registration: N84621
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 pilot told a witness he had been 'skud-running' and made an earlier stop due to bad weather. He said he was instrument rated, but was not current. At the airport, the weather was estimated to be basic VFR. To the south, however, the sky was obscured with no lateral visibility. The pilot said he was going to fly to an airport north of his position. He did not get a weather briefing before departure. Subsequently, he reported an airport in sight and transmitted that he was descending on approach. The aircraft was found over a week later, about 9 miles southeast of the departure airport. The aircraft was found on the south side of an east-west ridge at about 3,000 feet msl. The off-route obstruction clearance altitude for that area was 8,800 feet.

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

the pilot's intentional VFR flight into adverse weather conditions, and his failure to maintain sufficient altitude or clearance from mountainous/hilly terrain. Related factors were: the high/mountainous/hilly terrain, and the adverse weather condition (low ceiling).

Full narrative available

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