NTSB Identification: MIA92FA017.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45669.
Accident occurred Saturday, October 26, 1991 in VALKARIA, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/27/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N24431
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 PILOT DEPARTED VFR AT NIGHT WITH KNOWN EQUIPMENT DEFICIENCIES (INOPERATIVE LANDING AND INSTRUMENT PANEL LIGHTS). WITNESSES REPORTED BROKEN SKY CONDITION WITH LOW LEVEL OF AMBIENT LIGHT AND NO VISIBLE HORIZON. THE PILOT STATED AFTER TAKEOFF HE WAS ATTEMPTING TO MAINTAIN VISUAL REFERENCE WITH ANOTHER AIRPLANE THAT DEPARTED AHEAD OF HIM, WHEN HE BECAME SPATIALLY DISORIENTED. THIS RESULTED IN AN UNNOTICED LOSS OF ALTITUDE IN A TURN AND AN IN-FLIGHT COLLISION WITH TERRAIN.

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

THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ALTITUDE WHILE MANEUVERING. THIS RESULTED IN THE PILOT BECOMING SPATIALLY DISORIENTED AND AN IN-FLIGHT COLLISION WITH TERRAIN. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT'S DECISION TO OPERATE THE AIRPLANE WITH KNOWN DEFICIENCIES.

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