NTSB Identification: ATL92FA091.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46533.
Accident occurred Sunday, April 26, 1992 in GATLINBURG, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/12/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA 310R, registration: N3221M
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 INSTRUMENT-RATED COMMERCIAL PILOT WAS MAKING A PERSONAL, CROSS COUNTRY FLIGHT. THERE WAS NO FLIGHT PLAN FILED, NOR WERE THERE ANY RADIO COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE FLIGHT PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT. THE AIRCRAFT COLLIDED WITH THE SIDE OF A MOUNTAIN NEAR CLINGMANS DOME, TN, AT AN ALTITUDE OF ABOUT 5,800 FEET. THE WRECKAGE WAS SCATTERED UPHILL, AND DAMAGE TO TREES WAS INDICATIVE OF A CLIMBING, WINGS LEVEL ATTITUDE AT IMPACT. NO EVIDENCE OF MECHANICAL FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION WAS FOUND DURING THE WRECKAGE EXAMINATION. A MEMBER OF THE LOCAL CAP SQUADRON REPORTED THAT THE AREA OF THE CRASH SITE WAS OBSCURED IN CLOUDS AND FOG AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT.

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

THE PILOT'S CONTINUED VFR FLIGHT INTO IMC, AND HIS FAILURE TO ATTAIN A PROPER ALTITUDE OVER HIGH, MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. FACTORS WERE THE HIGH TERRAIN, AND THE FOG, CLOUDS, AND OBSCURATION AT THE ACCIDENT SITE.

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