NTSB Identification: SEA98FA170.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 26, 1998 in ANACORTES, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/10/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 172L, registration: N1069M
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 reported that he and his passenger met earlier in the morning at the pilot's residence on a lake. The purpose of the flight was to take aerial photos of property on an island. He said that while en route, the flight encountered a lowering overcast layer. He diverted and landed at a marina. He then step-taxied the aircraft through a pass in the direction of the islands. The weather was still poor when they exited the pass and the pilot beached the aircraft in a cove. The flight remained for a period of time before departing toward the islands. The pilot does not recall all of the events leading up to the accident. A boater who came upon the wreckage shortly after the accident, reported that the weather was a low overcast layer at 400 to 500 feet and visibility was one-quarter to one-half mile. The float-equipped aircraft was positioned on the beach, out of the water, with the nose positioned up against the rock outcropping. Impact damage from the terrain was noted to the left wing tip, right wing leading edge, both front end floats were crushed upward and rearward, the lower left side of the engine cowling was crushed rearward, the propeller and spinner were damaged, and the tail cone was broken just aft of the baggage compartment The boater was asked if the pilot said anything about the accident. The boater stated that the pilot said that 'we were going too fast.' During the investigation, there was no evidence found to indicate a mechanical failure or malfunction.

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

Terrain clearance was not maintained. A low ceiling and the pilot's inadequate in-flight planning/decision were factors.

Full narrative available

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