NTSB Identification: SEA91FA060.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43266.
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 05, 1991 in BELLINGHAM, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/16/1992
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: CGIXI
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 ACFT WAS 1 OF 5 THAT WERE ON A RETURN TRIP FROM LOS ANGELES, CA, TO ABBOTSFORD, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA. THE FLT CREWS HAD OBTAINED WX INFO DURING STOPS AT CRESENT CITY, CA, & NEWPORT, OR. AFTER LNDG AT EVERETT, WA, ONE OF THE FLT CREWS FILED A FLT PLAN FOR ALL 5 ACFT. AT THAT TIME, HE WAS ASKED IF HE WANTED A WX BRIEFING, BUT HE INDCD THEY HAD ALREADY RCVD A BRIEF FOR THE ROUTE. RPRTDLY, THE PLTS ALSO OBTAINED WX INFO FROM A COMPUTER IN THE LOBBY OF AN FBO AT EVERETT. AFTER DEPG EVERETT ON A NGT FLT TO ABBOTSFORD, THE FLTS ENCTRD DETERIORATING WX WITH SNOW & CLOUDS. THE FLT CREWS OF 2 ACFT REVERSED COURSE & LNDD AT AN ALTERNATE ARPT. THE CREW OF A 3RD ACFT DIVERTED, WENT OVER WATER, THEN CONTD EN ROUTE. HOWEVER, THE 2 REMAINING ACFT (C-GIXI & C-GJNM) COLLIDED WITH MOUNTAINOUS TRRN ABT 3 MI APART. C-GIXI IMPACTED ON ROUGH ROCKY TRRN AT AN ELEV OF ABT 1200'. ABT 8 MI NW AT BELLINGHAM, WA (ELEV 158'), THE 1950 WX WAS IN PART: 2100' BKN, 10 MI VIS WITH RAIN, WIND FM 240 DEG AT 6 KTS. THE WRECKAGE WAS FND THE NEXT DAY CVRD WITH SNOW.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: VFR FLIGHT BY THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC), AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN PROPER ALTITUDE AND/OR CLEARANCE FROM THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: DARKNESS AND THE ADVERSE WEATHER AND TERRAIN CONDITIONS.
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