NTSB Identification: CHI00FA039.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 09, 1999 in DANVILLE, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/16/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 310N, registration: N5038Q
Injuries: 2 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 instructional flight crashed 1-sm mile south of the airport during initial climb. A witness reported that while the airplane was taking off he heard a, '...whoosh sound and thought an engine failure had occurred...' The witness stated that the aircraft, from an altitude of 100-200 feet above ground level (agl), started a high rate descent towards the runway, then recovered into level flight for a few seconds, then began a climb that took the aircraft into the clouds. Weather conditions at the time of the accident were reported to be instrument meteorological conditions with 2-sm visibility, partial obscuration due to light precipitation, and an overcast ceiling of 1,300-feet. The accident occurred during a dark night. The governing FAA air traffic control center, Champaign approach, reported no communications were received from or transmitted to the accident airplane and additionally no flight plan information was filed or requested. No anomalies were found with the airframe, or its related systems, that could be associated with a preexisting condition. No anomalies were found with either engine, or their related systems, that could be associated with a preexisting condition.

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

Aircraft control not being maintained by the flight instructor and the flight instructor's inadequate supervision of the flight. Factors to the accident were the flight instructor's VFR flight into IMC weather conditions, the inadequate preflight planning/preparation conducted by the flight instructor, the dark night, the low ceiling, and the rain.

Full narrative available

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