NTSB Identification: FTW86FA008.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 30686.
Accident occurred Thursday, October 10, 1985 in PECOS, TX
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N711OW
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 NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PVT PLT DEPARTED ON A NIGHT FLT WITH WX REPORTED AS 300 AND 2 IN FOG AND DRIZZLE. ACFT IMPACTED TERRAIN SHORTLY THEREAFTER IN A 60 DEGREE NOSE DOWN ATTITUDE. THE PLT HAD TOLD A FRIEND THAT AFTER DEPATURE HE WOULD ACQUIRE AND THEN FOLLOW THE LIGHTS ALONG A NEARBY INTERSTATE HWY TO HIS DESTANTION. THE FRIEND, WHO WITNESSED THE DEPARTURE, STATED THAT SHORTLY AFTER LIFTOFF HE LOST SIGHT OF THE ACFT'S ROTATING BEACON DUE TO THE LOW VISIBILITY. THE PLT HAD A REPUTATION FOR FLYING IN MARGINAL OR WORSE WX AND HAD BEEN VIOLATED FOR THE SAME ON ONE PREVIOUS OCCASION. NO EVIDENCE OF PRE-IMPACT FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION WAS REVEALED DURING THE INVESTIGATION.

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

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING

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

VFR FLIGHT INTO IMC..INTENTIONAL..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:

FLIGHT INTO KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER..INITIATED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

OVERCONFIDENCE IN PERSONAL ABILITY..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

WEATHER CONDITION..RAIN

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

WEATHER CONDITION..FOG

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

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

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

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