NTSB Identification: BFO92FA133.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47747.
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 09, 1992 in WESTERLY, RI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/10/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA 182R, registration: N5533N
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.

BEFORE TAKEOFF, THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED 79 YEAR OLD PILOT RECEIVED TWO PREFLIGHT WEATHER BRIEFING. HE WAS ADVISED THAT VFR FLIGHT WAS NOT RECOMMENDED. THE PILOT DEPARTED WITH HIS WIFE TO ATTEND A FAMILY GATHERING IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN, WITH A PLANNED STOP IN WESTERLY, RHODE ISLAND, TO PICK UP RADIO EQUIPMENT. SEGMENTS OF THE FLIGHT WERE OVER WATER. DURING THE FLIGHT, THE PILOT WAS IN RADIO CONTACT WITH GROTON-NEW LONDON TOWER. HE INDICATED ON HIS LAST TRANSMISSION THAT HE WAS DESCENDING INTO WESTERLY. THE AIRCRAFT DID NOT REACH THE DESTINATION AIRPORT. A SEARCH WAS INITIATED AFTER DEBRIS WAS FOUND BY A FISHERMAN. THE AIRCRAFT WAS LOCATED 5 DAYS LATER IN ABOUT 50 FEET OF WATER ABOUT 5 MILES SOUTH OF THE AIRPORT. ABOUT 15 MILES SOUTH OF WESTERLY AT BLOCK ISLAND STATE AIRPORT, AN AIRPORT ATTENDANT REPORTED A LOW CEILING AND FOG, WHICH PREVENTED INBOUND AND OUTBOUND FLIGHT TO WESTERLY.

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

INADVERTENT VFR FLIGHT BY THE PILOT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC), AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT DUE TO SPATIAL DISORIENTATION. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS, SELF-INDUCED PRESSURE ON THE PILOT TO MAKE THE FLIGHT, AND THE PILOT'S LACK OF INSTRUMENT EXPEREINCE.

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