NTSB Identification: ATL91FA161.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44969.
Accident occurred Friday, August 16, 1991 in KATHLEEN, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/08/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA 402B, registration: N5855M
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 SINGLE ENGINE RATED PILOT AND 2 PASSENGERS WERE RETURNING FROM FLORIDA AFTER PICKING UP A NEWLY ACQUIRED CESSNA 402. THE PILOT CALLED MACON FSS FOR FUEL AVAILABILITY, AND BEGAN A NIGHT, VFR DESCENT. AT ABOUT 5300 FEET MSL, THE AIRPLANE BEGAN RAPID ALTITUDE EXCURSIONS, WHILE IN A TIGHT, RIGHT HAND TURN. DURING THIS TIME, IT DESCENDED 2600 FEET IN 37 SEC, THEN CLIMBED 1200 FEET IN 12 SEC. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED GRADUALLY RISING TERRAIN AT HIGH SPEED. THE ENGINES WERE BURIED, AND ALL PROP BLADES SHOWED EVIDENCE OF POWER AT IMPACT. WEATHER IN THE AREA WAS REPORTED TO BE: SKY PARTIALLY OBSCURED WITH FOG. AN INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE PILOT WAS NOT MULTI-ENGINE RATED. A PILOT FOR THE SELLER FLEW WITH THE ACCIDENT PILOT A FEW HRS PRIOR TO THE CRASH; HE REPORTED THAT THE ACCIDENT PILOT HAD DIFFICULTY FLYING THE AIRPLANE. HE RECOMMENDED THAT THE ACCIDENT PILOT GET ADDITIONAL TRAINING PRIOR TO LEAVING FLORIDA, BUT THE ACCIDENT PILOT REFUSED.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN AIRCRAFT CONTROL WHILE DESCENDING AT NIGHT. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: DARKNESS, FOG, THE PILOT'S LACK OF QUALIFICATION IN MULTI-ENGINE AIRCRAFT, HIS LACK OF EXPERIENCE IN THIS TYPE OF AIRCRAFT, HIS OVERCONFIDENCE IN HIS PERSONAL ABILITY, AND SPATIAL DISORIENTATION OF THE PILOT.

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