NTSB Identification: CHI98LA073.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 30, 1997 in WATERTOWN, SD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1999
Aircraft: Cessna 402B, registration: N5087Q
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 pilot landed at Watertown, loaded and off-loaded cargo, and departed without getting out of the airplane. A witness reported seeing the airplane over the runway at an altitude of about 50 feet agl. The airplane was described to be bouncing and buffeting. Another witness reported the weather as overcast with occasional snow flakes. The airplane then descended, impacted the terrain and exploded. Post accident inspection revealed a 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick ridge of rime ice along the leading edge of the left horizontal stabilizer. Pieces of arc shaped ice were located along the wreckage path. Inspection of the wreckage failed to reveal any preimpact failure/malfunction of the engine or airframe which would have prevented flight.

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

the pilot's failure to perform an aircraft preflight and to remove the ice which had accumulated on the airframe. A factor involved in the accident was the icing weather conditions which existed and the ice which accumulated on the airplane.

Full narrative available

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