NTSB Identification: NYC99FA214.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 25, 1999 in DYKE, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N733DH
Injuries: 4 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.

When checking out the rental airplane, the pilot told the dispatcher that the clouds along his route were at 3,100 feet, that he would be flying at 2,500 feet, and that the weather at his destination was clear. He then departed, the flight encountered instrument meteorological conditions and the airplane impacted a 3,280-foot mountain. The wreckage was located on a 30-degree slope, about 2,370 feet above sea level. The mountain was part of a chain, with maximum local elevations ranging from about 2,500 feet to over 3,200 feet above sea level. The pilot had received his private pilot certification less than 3 weeks earlier and was not instrument rated.

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

The pilot's inadvertent flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in his inability to see the rapidly rising terrain. A factor was the pilot's inaccurate evaluation of the weather.

Full narrative available

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