NTSB Identification: MIA00FA069.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 16, 2000 in ROGERSVILLE, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/22/2001
Aircraft: Beech P-35, registration: N9740Y
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.

At 1532, the pilot of N9740Y departed on a visual flight rules (VFR) flight, and during the flight he had been receiving VFR flight following. According to the FAA transcript of communications, the pilot had twice requested progressively lower altitudes to maintain VFR. The controller approved the second request for a lower altitude, but told the pilot that at that altitude Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) might not be able to maintain radar contact with his aircraft at that low an altitude. The pilot's third request was for 7,500 feet to avoid turbulence, and at 1619 the pilot changed his destination from Tri-cities Regional Airport to Hawkins County Airport. At 1622:39 the pilot reported to that he was descending out of five thousand three hundred feet. The controller acknowledged, providing the local altimeter setting for the nearest weather reporting station, the Tri-Cities Airport. At 1622:50 the pilot acknowledged the Tri-cities altimeter setting, stating, 'three zero two six roger.' At 1628.26 the controller said, 'niner seven four zero yankee radar contact lost squawk one two zero zero cleared to advisory frequency good afternoon'. The controller made one last transmission at 1628:26, saying 'niner seven four zero yankee Atlanta.' There were no further communications with the pilot of N9740Y. N9740Y struck Clinch mountain, about 6.7 miles northwest of Hawkins County Airport, in a level flight attitude, as indicated by the freshly cut trees, at an altitude of about 2,350 feet, about 50 feet below the 2,400-foot elevation. At the time of the accident, the Tri-Cities Regional Airport was reporting a ceiling of 1,300 feet overcast. Witnesses at Hawkins County Airport stated that the ceiling and visibility had been both low at Hawkins County Airport, and the airport had been closed due to the weather. The pilot held a private pilot airplane single engine land certificate, with no instrument rating.

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

the pilot's improper in-flight planning/decision and continued visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) that resulted in an in-flight collision with terrain and subsequent damage to the aircraft.

Full narrative available

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