NTSB Identification: ANC00LA041.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 12, 2000 in ALEKNAGIK, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28, registration: N6119W
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The first pilot, a commercial certificated pilot and a flight instructor, and the second pilot, a private pilot, were ferrying the airplane cross-country to obtain an annual inspection. The airplane was owned and being flown by the second pilot who occupied the left seat. The second pilot's medical certificate was expired. The first pilot, occupying the right seat, said he was the pilot-in-command, but the second pilot was at the flight controls at the time of the crash. The flight proceeded toward a small range of mountains, but the tops of the ridges were obscured by clouds. The first pilot said overcast sky conditions varied between 1,400 to 1,600 feet above the ground, and he estimated the visibility below the overcast as 20 miles. As the flight approached the mountains, the pilot turned northward, but found no access across the mountains. He turned around and began to proceed to the departure airport. While in cruise flight at 500 feet above the ground, the first pilot said the horizon became indistinguishable from the snow-covered mountains, and the snow-covered ground. The first pilot said that neither he or the second pilot realized the airplane was slowly descending until it collided with the surface of a snow-covered lake.

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

The first pilot's (pilot-in-command) inadequate evaluation of the weather, and failure to maintain an adequate altitude above the ground. Factors in the accident were low ceilings, and snow-covered terrain.

Full narrative available

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