NTSB Identification: CHI87FA099.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 35923.
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 18, 1987 in ATTICA, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1989
Aircraft: BELLANCA 7ECA, registration: N5504L
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.

AFTER COMPLETING A CABLE PATROL FLT, THE PLT LANDED AT SULLIVAN, IN, TO REFUEL BEFORE STARTING A NIGHT FLT TO REPOSITION THE ACFT AT LAFAYETTE, IN. THE PLT DEPARTED IN CLEAR WX. HOWEVER, AS HE WAS ARRIVING AT LAFAYETTE, HE ADVISED THE TOWER CONTROLLER THAT 'IT LOOKS LIKE I GOT ON TOP OF A LITTLE CLOUD DECK HERE.' THE PLT WAS ADVISED THE ARPT WX WAS 1200' BROKEN, 2600' OVERCAST, VISIBILITY 7 MI WITH LIGHT RAIN. HE REQUESTED A RADAR VECTOR TO THE ARPT. HOWEVER, AS THE TOWER CONTROLLER WAS COORDINATING WITH APCH CONTROL TO IDENTIFY THE ACFT'S POSITION, CONTACT WITH THE ACFT WAS LOST. A SEARCH WAS INITIATED. THE ACFT HAD CRASHED IN A STEEP NOSE DOWN, LEFT WING LOW ATTITUDE. DRG THE INVESTIGATION, NO PREIMPACT MECHANICAL PROBLEM WAS FOUND. THERE WAS EVIDENCE THE ENG WAS PROVIDING POWER AT IMPACT.

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

AIRCRAFT HANDLING..NOT MAINTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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:

VFR FLIGHT INTO IMC..CONTINUED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

PREFLIGHT BRIEFING SERVICE..NOT USED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING

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