NTSB Identification: MIA97FA249.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 19, 1997 in SEBRING, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/31/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 177RG, registration: N2562V
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 flight was operating in an area of isolated thunderstorms. While en route at 6,000 feet, the pilot was cleared to descend to 5,000 feet. He acknowledged the clearance, then there was no further radio contact with the pilot. Shortly thereafter, radar contact was lost. Witnesses heard the aircraft descending rapidly, then it crash into a lake. Also, witnesses reported that rain was falling hard, and the wind was blowing hard over the lake at the time of the crash. Recovery of a large portion of the aircraft from the lake showed all components of the aircraft necessary for flight were on the aircraft at impact. There was evidence that the aircraft impacted in a right wing and nose low attitude. The propeller had damage consistent with rotation at the time of the accident. The pilot had received his instrument rating about 48 days before the accident. He had accumulated about 25 hours of actual instrument flight time and 50 hours of simulated instrument flight time.

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

continued flight by the pilot into adverse weather conditions, and his failure to maintain aircraft control, which resulted in an uncontrolled descent until impact in a lake. The adverse weather condition (thunderstorm) was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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