NTSB Identification: LAX93FA004.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 48275.
Accident occurred Saturday, October 03, 1992 in ELKO, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/1993
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17-31ATC, registration: N33317
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 INVESTIGATION REVEALED THE AIRCRAFT DESCENDED VERTICALLY OUT OF AN OVERCAST CEILING AND COLLIDED WITH MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. A WITNESS REPORTED THE VISIBILITY TO BE 1/2 TO 1 MILE IN LIGHT RAIN AND THE TEMPERATURE ON THE GROUND 40 TO 50 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT. THE WITNESS ALSO REPORTED THAT THE TOPS OF THE HIGHEST HILLS IN THE AREA WERE OBSCURED BY CLOUDS AND OVERCAST SKIES 'WITH FEW IF ANY BREAKS [IN THE OVERCAST].' THERE WAS NO RECORD OF THE PILOT RECEIVING A WEATHER BRIEFING FROM ANY FACILITIES OF THE FAA OR DUATS. SEVERAL AIRMETS WERE ISSUED FOR ICING, TURBULENCE AND CLOUD LAYERS WHICH WERE FORECASTED ALONG THE AIRPLANE'S DIRECT ROUTE OF FLIGHT. THE ACCIDENT AIRPLANE WAS NOT CERTIFIED OR EQUIPPED FOR FLIGHT IN ICING CONDITIONS.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO OBTAIN AN ADEQUATE PREFLIGHT WEATHER BRIEIFING AND THE PILOT'S DECISION TO CONTINUE FLIGHT INTO FORECAST ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PREVAILING ICING, CLOUDS, AND RAIN WEATHER CONDITIONS.

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