NTSB Identification: SEA99LA058.
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Accident occurred Thursday, May 06, 1999 in DETROIT, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 150G, registration: N3381J
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot, who was not instrument-rated, reported that he obtained his preflight weather information from The Weather Channel on television. He was subsequently unable to land at his destination due to high crosswind conditions associated with a cold frontal passage, and attempted to return to his departure airport. While en route back to the departure airport, the pilot encountered a snowstorm, entered instrument meteorological conditions, and became lost. He called for emergency assistance on several frequencies and was finally assisted in contacting ATC by another aircraft. However, before ATC could vector him to a suitable airport, the airplane iced up and eventually lost engine power (the pilot reported he thought he was out of fuel at this time, which was approximately 4 hours after the pilot's reported takeoff time.) A few seconds prior to the loss of power, the pilot had also turned carburetor heat off. The airplane subsequently crashed onto a mountainside. The airplane's emergency locator transmitter signal aided search and rescue forces in locating the downed aircraft, and the seriously injured pilot was rescued approximately 17 hours after the crash.

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

The pilot's inadvertent visual flight rules flight into instrument meteorological conditions, eventually resulting in a non-mechanical loss of engine power. Factors were: the pilot's inadequate preflight planning and preparation; a snowstorm with icing conditions; the pilot becoming lost; and mountainous terrain.

Full narrative available

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