NTSB Identification: FTW87FA043.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 32195.
Accident occurred Saturday, January 03, 1987 in GLADEWATER, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/21/1988
Aircraft: MOONEY M20J, registration: N201AV
Injuries: 1 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 PILOT DEPARTED INTO LOW OVERCAST CLOUDS (ABOUT 200 FOOT CEILING) WITH ONE TO TWO MILES VISIBILITY IN LIGHT RAIN AND FOG. HE DID NOT FILE A FLIGHT PLAN ALTHOUGH HE WAS INSTRUMENT RATED. HIS CURRENCY FOR FLIGHT IN INSTRUMENT CONDITIONS ARE UNKNOWN. IMMEDIATELY AFTER ENTERING THE CLOUDS THE PILOT INITIATED A CLIMBING LEFT TURN OF ABOUT 150-160 DEGREES. ABOUT A MINUTE LATER THE AIRCRAFT CRASHED 1.5 MILES SOUTH OF THE DEPARTURE AIRPORT. IMPACT OCCURRED IN A STEEP NOSE DOWN ATTITUDE OF 60-75 DEGREES AND AT A HIGH RATE OF SPEED. NO EVIDENCE OF PRE-IMPACT MECHANICAL FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION WAS FOUND. THE CLIMBING LEFT TURN IMMEDIATELY AFTER ENTERING THE CLOUDS WOULD HAVE BEEN CONDUCIVE TO SPATIAL DISORIENTATION.

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

SPATIAL DISORIENTATION..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

AIRCRAFT HANDLING..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

OVERCONFIDENCE IN PERSONAL ABILITY..PILOT IN COMMAND



Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

PREFLIGHT PLANNING/PREPARATION..POOR..PILOT IN COMMAND

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