NTSB Identification: NYC88FA218.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40337.
Accident occurred Sunday, August 14, 1988 in ISLAND FALLS, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/1990
Aircraft: CESSNA 172K, registration: N1183M
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PRIVATE PILOT FLEW INTO IMC CONDITIONS AND COLLIDED WITH WOODED TERRAIN DURING A PLEASURE FLIGHT. POST ACCIDENT EXAMINATION FAILED TO REVEAL ANY PREIMPACT MECHANICAL FAILURES/MALFUNCTIONS. THE PILOT HAD CONTACTED THE BANGOR AFSS WHILE EN ROUTE AND STATED HE WAS HAVING TROUBLE MAINTAIN VFR FLIGHT. THE AFSS COULD NOT ESTABLISH A DF STEER ON THE AIRPLANE AND THE PILOT WAS ADVISED TO CONTACT BOSTON CENTER. CENTER DID ESTABLISH RADAR CONTACT. VECTORS AND MINIMUM SAFE ALTITUDES WERE ISSUED FOR A ROUTE TO HOULTON. WHILE EN ROUTE TO HOULTON, THE PILOT REPORTED THAT HE WAS DISORIENTED AND SHORTLY THEREAFTER, THE AIRPLANE DISAPPEARED OFF RADAR.

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

PILOT'S POOR IN-INFLIGHT DECISIONS AND PLANNING AND FAILED TO FOLLOW ATC DIRECTIVES TO MAINTAIN VFR. THE PILOT CONTINUED VFR INTO IFR CONDITIONS AND COLLIDED WITH HILLY TERRAIN.

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