NTSB Identification: BFO89FA029.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39135.
Accident occurred Thursday, April 06, 1989 in RUPERT, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/11/1990
Aircraft: BEECH C35, registration: N9502C
Injuries: 4 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 NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PVT PLT AND 3 PAX DPTD PARKERSBURG (PKB) EN ROUTE TO LEWISBURG (LWB). ALTHOUGH NO WITNESSES COULD BE FOUND WHO SAW THE ACCIDENT, A LADY DID OBSERVE AN ACFT FLYING TOWARD LWB AT AN ALT OF APRX 700-800 FT AGL AS IT PASSED OVER HER RESIDENCE WHICH WAS AT AN ELEVATION OF 2,600 FT AGL. SHE INDICATED THAT THE CEILING WAS SOLID OVERCAST ABOVE THE ACFT AND THAT THE ENGINE SOUNDED NORMAL. EXAMINATION OF THE 3,800 FT MSL WRECKAGE SITE DID NOT REVEALANY PREIMPACT FAILURES OR MALFUNCTIONS OF THE AIRFRAME OR ENGINE. A CFI FLYING 5 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THE ACCIDENT SITE ABOUT 45 MINUTES PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT OBSERVED MOUNTAIN TOPS THAT WERE TOTALLY OBSCURED BY CLOUDS AND HEAVY SNOW SHOWERS.

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

PILOT INADVERTANTLY FLEW INTO IMC WHILE TRYING TO MAINTAIN VFR AND COLLIDED WITH TREES DURING A STEEP TURN DURING HIS ATTEMPT TO TURN AWAY FROM IMC. THE WEATHER CONDITIONS THAT WERE DETERMINED TO BE FACTORS IN THIS ACCIDENT WERE: LOW CEILINGS, OBSCURATION, SNOW, AND TURBULENCE.

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