NTSB Identification: ATL92FA108.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47290.
Accident occurred Sunday, May 24, 1992 in CHEROKEE, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/26/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA 172B, registration: N8102X
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 AIRCRAFT WAS ON A CROSS COUNTRY FLIGHT IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. THERE IS NO RECORD OF THE PILOT HAVING RECEIVED A WEATHER BRIEFING FOR THE FLIGHT. THERE WAS HEAVY RAIN AND THUNDERSHOWER ACTIVITY IN THE ACCIDENT AREA AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT. SHORTLY AFTER DEPARTURE, THE NON INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT CONTACTED APPROACH CONTROL AND STATED THAT HE WAS LOST AND ASKED FOR RADAR VECTORS TO THE NEAREST AIRPORT. THE PILOT'S FLIGHT LOG BOOK SHOWED THAT HE HAD LESS THAN ONE HOUR OF INSTRUMENT FLIGHT INSTRUCTION IN PREPARATION FOR THE PRIVATE PILOT EXAMINATION. RADAR DATA SHOWED THE AIRCRAFT MAKING SEVERAL CLIMBS, DESCENTS, AND ERRATIC TURNS PRIOR TO LOSS OF RADAR CONTACT. THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED THE TERRAIN AT APPROXIMATELY 5900 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT AS A RESULT OF SPATIAL DISORIENTATION. THE LACK OF TOTAL FLIGHT TIME, AND RAIN IN THE ACCIDENT AREA WERE FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT.

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