NTSB Identification: CHI98LA126.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 28, 1997 in FT. LEONARDWOOD, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 177, registration: N30255
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 non-instrument rated pilot obtained outlook and abbreviated weather briefings before departing on an extended cross country. During the abbreviated weather briefing the FAA's FSS specialist advised the pilot that '...VFR flight is not recommended.' The pilot said he would call the FAA FSS back before departure. There was no record of a return call by the pilot. Later in the day, the pilot landed at an airport midway between his departure airport and planned destination. While at the airport he refueled the airplane and obtained a weather briefing. The pilot told the airport manager that the FSS specialist told him that VFR flight was not recommended. The manager suggested the pilot fly south into eastern Kansas, west of the weather system, land and check the weather before continuing. Relatives reported the pilot missing on December 28, 1997. The airplane was found on April 17, 1998. The on-scene examination revealed the airplane collided with trees, terrain and was destroyed by fire. Examination of the airframe, engine and flight control system revealed no anomalies that would have prevented flight. Weather reported about 60 miles southwest and 35 miles northeast of the accident site showed IMC conditions at the approximate time of the accident.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate obstacle clearance and his inadequate inflight decision which resulted in VFR flight in to instrument meteorological conditions. The pilot's overconfidence in his ability is a contributing factor.

Full narrative available

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