NTSB Identification: FTW90LA049.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41521.
Accident occurred Thursday, January 04, 1990 in HAMMOND, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/15/1992
Aircraft: CESSNA 172E, registration: N3531S
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE STUDENT PILOT RECEIVED TWO WEATHER BRIEFINGS DURING WHICH HE WAS TOLD AT FIRST THAT HIS ROUTE OF FLIGHT WAS MARGINAL VFR AND LATER THAT IT HAD GONE IFR. IN BOTH CASES, HE WAS TOLD THAT VFR WAS NOT RECOMMENDED. IN A POST-ACCIDENT INTERVIEW THE PILOT STATED THAT MARGINAL WEATHER DID NOT BOTHER HIM AND THAT HE KNEW 'HOW TO FLY IN THE CLOUDS'. ABOUT 2:10 AFTER DEPARTURE, THE PILOT CONTACTED NEW ORLEANS APPROACH CONTROL AND REQUESTED ASSISTANCE IN GETTING TO HIS DESTINATION AIRPORT. HE WAS TOLD THAT ALL OF THE AIRPORTS IN THE AREA WERE IFR. DURING THE NEXT 1:38 CONTROLLER ATTEMPTED TO VECTOR THE PILOT TO AIRPORTS IN THE AREA IN ATTEMPTS TO GET THE AIRPLANE DOWN. ANOTHER AIRPLANE ASSISTED IN THESE EFFORTS, BUT IN EACH CASE, THE PILOT WAS UNABLE TO LOCATE THE AIRPORTS DUE TO THE THICK UNDERCAST CONDITIONS. WHILE BEING VECTORED FOR AN ILS, THE PILOT REPORTED THAT HIS ENGINE QUIT DUE TO FUEL EXHAUSTION. HE WAS UNABLE TO GLIDE TO THE AIRPORT AND CRASHED INTO TREES ABOUT 8 MILES SHORT.

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

PILOT IN COMMAND'S INITIATION AND CONTINUATION OF THE FLIGHT INTO AN AREA OF KNOWN IMC WEATHER CONDITIONS AND HIS SUBSEQUENT INABILITY TO LAND PRIOR TO RUNNING OUT OF FUEL. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO THE ACCIDENT WERE THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO EXERCISE GOOD JUDGEMENT AND HIS DISREGARD FOR THE FEDERAL AIR REGULATIONS.

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