NTSB Identification: NYC98LA012.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, October 14, 1997 in PITTSFIELD, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/21/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N62264
Injuries: 2 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 non-instrument rated, private pilot was flying in partial visual flight rules (VFR) conditions when he encountered instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions. The pilot continued the flight using a hand held global positioning system (GPS) receiver for navigation. While descending below the cloud layer in an attempt to reach VFR conditions the airplane struck a tree. The airplane remained in flight and a successful landing was made at a nearby airport. The pilot reported he did not receive a weather briefing, and obtained weather information for the flight by viewing the 'weather channel,' and listening to a radio broadcast from the National Weather Service.

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

The pilot's poor in-flight decision to continue VFR flight in IFR conditions. Factor's in this accident were the pilot's inadequate pre-flight planning, and fog.

Full narrative available

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