NTSB Identification: CHI98LA324.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 16, 1998 in MICHIGAN CITY, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/02/1999
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N30561
Injuries: 1 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 reported he had cancelled his IFR flight plan from St. Louis, Missouri, to Gary, Indiana, and proceeded to Michigan City, Indiana, using flight following. The pilot reported he landed at Michigan City at 0330 in light ground fog. He reported that the ground fog was 'no problem.' He reported, 'Upon departing 02, the fog suddenly obscured the runway. I proceeded to cut the power and came to rest in a field adjacent to the runway.' The 0253 EDT weather at Benton Harbor, Michigan, 31 nautical miles to the northeast, was reporting the temperature as 57 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Dew Point was 57 degrees Fahrenheit. The 0254 EDT weather at South Bend, Indiana, 22 nautical miles to the east, was reporting the temperature as 62 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Dew Point was 62 degrees Fahrenheit.

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

the pilot departed into known adverse weather and failed to maintain directional control of the airplane. A factor was the fog.

Full narrative available

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