NTSB Identification: ATL94FA023.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 26, 1993 in GADSDEN, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/02/1994
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N7702U
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 PILOT WAS POSITIONING THE AIRPLANE IN ORDER TO HAVE AN ANNUAL INSPECTION DONE. NO RECORD WAS FOUND OF A WEATHER BRIEFING FOR THE FLIGHT. AT THE TIME OF DEPARTURE, THE WEATHER REPORTING FACILITY NEAREST THE DESTINATION INDICATED THAT THE CEILING WAS 500 FEET. MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN INTERVENED BETWEEN THE DEPARTURE AIRPORT AND THE DESTINATION. THE PILOT'S LOG INDICATED THAT HE HAD PREVIOUSLY FLOWN TO THE DESTINATION. THE ACCIDENT SITE WAS LOCATED ADJACENT TO AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY THAT RAN THROUGH A VALLEY BETWEEN TWO RIDGES. THE DIRECTION OF THE WRECKAGE TRAIL SUGGESTED THAT THE PILOT AND REVERSED COURSE, SINCE THE FLIGHT PATH LED AWAY FROM THE DESTINATION. DAMAGE TO THE AIRPLANE DEMONSTRATED THAT IT HAD COLLIDED WITH ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION WIRES, TREES, AND THE GROUND. LOCAL WITNESSES CONFIRMED THAT THE TOP OF THE IMPACTED RIDGE WAS SHROUDED IN CLOUDS.

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

THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE PRE-FLIGHT PREPARATION AND HIS CONTINUED VISUAL FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS. FACTORS WERE FOG, LOW CEILING, AND HILLY TERRAIN.

Full narrative available

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