NTSB Identification: IAD98LA074.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 01, 1998 in LOCK HAVEN, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/07/2000
Aircraft: American Blimp Corp. ABC-A-60, registration: N760AB
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 pilot received a weather briefing in person from the Flight Service Station at the departure airport. The predicted headwinds for the planned airship flight over mountainous terrain were 15 knots gusting to 25 knots. An Airmet issued for the proposed route of flight 45 minutes after takeoff called for occasional moderate turbulence over rough terrain due to strong low-level winds. In cruise flight approximately 500-600 feet above ground level, the airship encountered '...a severe sustained downdraft...' that could not be overcome with full power and full up elevator. The airship subsequently collided with trees. An update to the same Airmet one hour after the accident called for occasional moderate and isolated severe turbulence over rough terrain.

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

the pilot's encounter with unforecasted downdrafts.

Full narrative available

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