NTSB Identification: MIA98FA015.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 24, 1997 in RABUN GAP, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 172M, registration: N1499U
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 pilot received a weather briefing, which showed instrument flight rules conditions were present along the route of flight near the destination. An enroute stop was made about 57 miles south of the destination and a special VFR clearance was received to land at the airport due to instrument meteorological conditions. The flight departed for the destination after receiving another special VFR clearance, and after frequency change was approved, no further transmissions were received from the flight. The aircraft wreckage was found at the 4,400-foot msl level on a 4,600-foot msl mountain, 15 miles southeast of the destination. The aircraft had collided with trees while on a northerly heading, in a level attitude, causing separation of the outboard wings. Postcrash examination of the aircraft, flight controls, and engine showed no evidence of precrash failure or malfunction. At the time of the accident, the weather reporting stations around the crash site were showing broken to overcast ceilings between 3,800 and 4,200 feet msl with visibilities 1.5-5 miles in mist and light rain.

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

The pilot's continued flight under visual flight rules into known instrument meteorological conditions and his failure to maintain a safe altitude for terrain clearance resulting in the aircraft colliding with trees and the ground on the side of a mountain.

Full narrative available

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