NTSB Identification: ANC99FA130.
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Scheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Friday, September 03, 1999 in BETTLES, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-32R-300, registration: N9166K
Injuries: 1 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.

After receiving a full weather briefing, the commercial certificated pilot departed on a VFR scheduled domestic flight with U.S. mail as the cargo. The intended route was over mountainous terrain. When the pilot opened his flight plan, the flight station specialist advised the pilot of AIRMETs for mountain obscuration and icing. After dropping mail at an intermediate stop, the pilot advised he was inbound to a planned refueling stop. The airplane did not arrive, and an ELT signal was reported 22 miles north of the refueling destination. The accident site was located the following day in a direct line between the intermediate stop and the refueling destination. The airplane collided at high speed with a mountain side at 4,500 feet msl of a 4,720 foot mountain. An area forecast included occasional ceilings below 1,000 feet, with visibility below 3 statute miles in light rain and mist. AIRMETs were issued for mountain obscuration, with mountains occasionally obscured in clouds and in precipitation. AIRMETs were issued for icing with occasional moderate rime icing in clouds and in precipitation from 6,000 to 18,000 feet. Search personnel reported that the mountain tops in the area of the ELT were obscured by fog and snow showers. The accident site was covered by about 4 inches of snow.

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

The pilot's continued flight into known adverse weather conditions. Factors in the accident were low ceilings and snow.

Full narrative available

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