NTSB Identification: CHI00FA276.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 30, 2000 in Grafton, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/2002
Aircraft: Beech E-55, registration: N9047V
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.

During climb after takeoff the pilot became disorientated, lost aircraft control, and the airplane impacted the Mississippi River. The instrument rated pilot departed into known instrument meteorological conditions without an instrument flight rules (IFR) air traffic control (ATC) clearance. After takeoff the pilot contacted ATC to obtain an IFR clearance to his intended destination. The ATC controller instructed the pilot to make a right turn to avoid opposite direction traffic. The traffic was on an instrument approach to the airport from which the accident airplane had just departed. During the turn the accident airplane impacted the Mississippi River approximately 2.2 nm north-northeast of the departure airport. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident with a visibility of 1-1/2 statute miles and an overcast ceiling of 300 feet above ground level. No anomalies were found with the recovered portions of the airplane that could be associated with a pre-impact condition.

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

The pilot not maintaining aircraft control and altitude/clearance from the river. Factors to the accident included the pilot not obtaining an air traffic control clearance prior to departure into instrument meteorological conditions, the pilot becoming spatially disoriented, the low ceiling, and the mist.

Full narrative available

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