NTSB Identification: MIA94FA034.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 03, 1993 in DELRAY BEACH, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/26/1994
Aircraft: CESSNA 150J, registration: N60517
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 commercial pilot leveled off at 500 feet agl, and was flying parallel to the shoreline at night. The pilot described the weather conditions as very dark, with no natural horizon, and the only visible light was located on the shoreline. The passenger stated, look how beautiful it is over there. The pilot looked at the shoreline, and felt something was wrong. The buildings looked closer than they should have been. He looked at the altimeter and noticed the airplane was descending through 200 feet. He pulled back on the control yoke and made a left turn. The airplane did not appear to climb. The pilot turned to the right and back to the left. The next thing he remembered was being under water trying to get to the surface.

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

The pilot-in-command's failure to maintain altitude while maneuvering. This resulted in the pilot becoming spatially disoriented, and subsequent in-flight collision with the ocean. Contributing to the accident was the dark night with no visible horizon.

Full narrative available

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