NTSB Identification: NYC90LA131.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42832.
Accident occurred Saturday, June 16, 1990 in AUGUSTA, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/1992
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N2898U
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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THE STUDENT PILOT'S CERTIFICATE HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN REVOKED FOR TAKING AN AIRPLANE WITHOUT THE OWNER'S PERMISSION. HE TOOK AN AIRPLANE AGAIN WITHOUT PERMISSION FOR A NIGHT FLIGHT IN WEATHER THAT WAS INDEFINITE 100' CEILING WITH 1/4 MI VISIBILITY & FOG. SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF, THE AIRPLANE ENTERED CLOUDS & THE PILOT MADE A DESCENDING TURN TO REGAIN VISUAL CONTACT. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE AIRPLANE STRUCK THE GROUND & WAS EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED. THE OWNER SAID HE KEPT A SPARE SET OF KEYS IN THE AIRPLANE & THEY WERE MISSING TWO DAYS BEFORE THE ACCIDENT. THE SPARE KEYS WERE FOUND ON THE PILOT'S KEY RING AFTER THE ACCIDENT. AFTER THE DOWNED AIRPLANE & PILOT WERE FOUND, HE WAS TAKEN TO A HOSPITAL. A SAMPLE OF HIS BLOOD WAS DRAWN & A TOXICOLOGY CHECK SHOWED IT HAD AN ALCOHOL LEVEL OF 0.01 G/DL (0.010%).

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

POOR JUDGEMENT OF THE PILOT, HIS DECISION TO ATTEMPT VFR FLIGHT IN INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC), AND HIS LOSS OF AIRCRAFT CONTROL DUE TO SPATIAL DISORIENTATION. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE PILOT'S LACK OF PROPER CERTIFICATION (QUALIFICATION), HIS POSSIBLE IMPAIRMENT DUE TO CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL, DARKNESS, ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS, AND THE PILOT'S LACK OF INSTRUMENT AND FLIGHT EXPERIENCE.

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