NTSB Identification: CHI98FA080.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 07, 1998 in DECATUR, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/15/1999
Aircraft: Cessna P210N, registration: N6669P
Injuries: 1 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 called the Flight Service Station, obtained a weather briefing and filed an IFR flight plan. He was cleared for takeoff and was instructed to make a left turn after takeoff. Radar contact was established and the pilot was instructed to climb and maintain 6,000 feet and to proceed on course. The pilot acknowledged this transmission. Three minutes later the Champaign Approach Controller asked the pilot to verify that Wichita was his destination. The pilot made a transmission of which only the last portion 'six nine papa' was legible. The approach controller noted that the airplane was turning right and not left as instructed. The controller attempted to contact the pilot regarding the turn, but the transmission was not acknowledged and radar contact was lost. One witness reported seeing the airplane '...come out of the clouds heading straight down to a nose dive.' Another witness reported hearing the engine 'wide open'. The airplane impacted the terrain approximately 1 1/4 mile northeast of the airport. Examination of the airplane and engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded operation.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane. Contributing factors were low ceiling and freezing drizzle.

Full narrative available

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