NTSB Identification: NYC00FA112.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 14, 2000 in GROTTOES, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 172H, registration: N1404F
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.

The pilot was on an instrument flight rules flight plan, in instrument meteorological conditions. He was instructed to fly a heading, until receiving a non-directional beacon, then proceed directly to the beacon. After the pilot reported receiving the beacon, the airplane turned to right, about 90 degrees, followed by a 180-degree turn to the left. At the completion of the second turn, the airplane disappeared from radar. There were no distress calls from the pilot. The ground impact point was found in the vicinity of the last radar contact, and accident site evidence indicated an almost vertical, final descent. All flight control surfaces were accounted for at the accident scene, and propeller signatures indicated high engine power at impact. The vacuum pump was destroyed, but internally, exhibited rotational scoring and rotational smudging. The pilot had 254 hours of total flight time, with 53 hours of simulated instrument flight time, and 0.4 hours of actual instrument flight time. The pilot's last simulated instrument flight experience occurred 4 months prior to the accident.

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

The pilot's loss of control of the airplane in instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin. Factors included the pilot's lack of instrument time under actual conditions, and his lack of recent instrument flight experience.

Full narrative available

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