NTSB Identification: FTW89FA090.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42277.
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 03, 1989 in BURNET, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/29/1992
Aircraft: CESSNA 172P, registration: N5253K
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.

THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT WAS ADVISED BEFORE DEPARTING ON A CROSS COUNTRY FLIGHT THAT VFR FLIGHT WAS NOT RECOMMENDED. HE DEPARTED WITHOUT FILING A FLIGHT PLAN. BEFORE REACHING AN INTERMEDIATE STOP, HE OBTAINED AN UPDATED WEATHER BRIEFING FOR THE LOCAL AREA AND HIS FINAL DESTINATION. AFTER REFUELING, HE TOOK OFF AND PROCEEDED TOWARD HIS DESTINATION WHICH WAS APRX 156 NM TO THE EAST. A LARGE SLOW MOVING FRONTAL SYSTEM WAS POSITIONED OVER NORTHCENTRAL TEXAS AT THE TIME. THE PILOT'S ROUTE OF FLIGHT WAS ALONG THE SOUTHERN BOUNDARY OF THE FRONT. LIGHT DRIZZLE, FOG, AND LOW CEILINGS EXISTED ALONG THE ROUTE OF FLIGHT. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE AIRPLANE ENTERED A DESCENT & CRASHED APRX 63 MI SOUTHWEST OF THE DESTINATION AIRPORT AFTER ABOUT 3 HRS & 20 MINUTES OF FLIGHT. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE AIRPLANE WAS FOUND, THOUGH IT WAS BADLY DAMAGED DURING IMPACT. SEVERAL LOCAL PEOPLE STATED THERE WAS LOW CEILINGS, FOG AND DRIZZLE AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT.

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

CONTINUED VFR FLIGHT BY THE PILOT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC), AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT, DUE TO SPATIAL DISORIENTATION. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS AND THE PILOT'S LACK OF INSTRUMENT EXPERIENCE.

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