NTSB Identification: LAX92FA078.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46765.
Accident occurred Thursday, January 02, 1992 in FLAGSTAFF, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/24/1994
Aircraft: CESSNA 182R, registration: N5485N
Injuries: 2 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.

AFTER LIFT-OFF, THE AIRPLANE WAS OBSERVED TO CLIMB TO AN ESTIMATED ALTITUDE OF 300-400 FT AGL BEFORE TURNING RIGHT AND DESCENDING INTO TREES. THE WITNESS STATED THAT THE HORIZON WAS OBSCURED FROM HIS LOCATION, AND THAT THE LIGHTS FROM THE CITY WERE OBSCURED BY LOW STRATUS CLOUDS AND FOG. PRIOR TO TAKEOFF THE PILOT HAD ACKNOWLEDGED RECEIVING THE CURRENT ATIS INFORMATION WHICH REPORTED SCATTERED CLOUDS AT 500 FT AND A FOG BANK NORTHWEST THROUGH EAST, VISIBILITY NORTHWEST 2 MI, VISIBILITY EAST 3 MI.

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

THE PILOT BECAME SPATIALLY DISORIENTED AND LOST CONTROL OF THE AIRPLANE AS HE TURNED AWAY FROM GROUND LIGHTS TOWARD UNLIGHTED TERRAIN. THE CLOUDS, FOG, AND DARK NIGHT CONDITION WERE FACTORS.

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