NTSB Identification: LAX99FA020.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 29, 1998 in NIXON, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/21/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 182Q, registration: N95726
Injuries: 3 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 noninstrument rated pilot was en route VFR on a northeasterly course to the destination. During the last 8 minutes of the flight, recorded radar data showed the aircraft descending from 14,500 feet to 13,000 feet, on a southwesterly course until the aircraft abruptly entered a left descending spiral and disappeared from radar near the accident site. Meteorological data and pilot reports showed cloud tops in the area near 15,000 feet with higher tops further east and rime icing probable in the clouds. The pilot received a weather briefing from flight service the previous evening (11 hours before the flight) which forecast VFR conditions along the route. The pilot did not receive any further briefing before departing the following morning. Updated weather, available in the morning, contained reports of poorer weather than previously forecast.

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

The noninstrument rated pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during an attempted flight into adverse weather which resulted in inadvertent VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions. Factors in the accident were the pilot's failure to obtain an updated briefing prior to departure, and icing conditions encountered after entering the clouds.

Full narrative available

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