NTSB Identification: IAD98FA072.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 21, 1998 in HEBRON, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 172M, registration: N12912
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 non-instrument rated private pilot departed in night visual meteorological conditions without obtaining a weather briefing. Weather at the destination airport, 22 miles east of the departure airport, was IMC. Satellite imagery taken at about the time of the accident, revealed low stratus clouds and fog present at the accident site area. Radar data indicated that about 9 miles east of the destination airport, the airplane initiated a right hand turn, and completed two circles, with the radius of the second circle smaller than the first. The airplane's altitude readout fluctuated throughout the maneuver. The airplane impacted in a heavily wooded area and was scattered over 250 feet. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any pre-impact malfunctions of the airframe or engine.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to obtain a weather briefing which resulted in inadvertent flight into instrument meteorological conditions, and his failure to maintain control of the airplane due to spatial disorientation. Factors in this accident were low ceilings and fog. Full narrative available
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