NTSB Identification: CHI01FA064.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 12, 2001 in Martinsville, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 172K, registration: N46628
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 airplane, piloted by a non-instrument rated pilot, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot had been in communication with air traffic control prior to the accident. The pilot was given the weather conditions at an airport 11 nm from the intended destination as, "visibility one quarter with freezing fog the scattered ceiling is at one hundred feet and broken at ah seven hundred feet our rvrs are all ah below eight hundred for the runways i'm not sure you want to come this direction." The air traffic controller suggested an airport that was 6 nm in front of the airplane as an alternate. Witnesses in the area of the accident site reported foggy conditions on the night of the accident. Radar data shows that after being given the weather conditions and the suggested alternate airport, the aircraft continued to fly in a predominately easterly direction. Postaccident examination of the aircraft did not reveal any anomalies that could be associated with a preexisting condition.

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

The pilots decision not to fly to the alternate airport, his decision to continue the flight in known adverse weather conditions, spatial disorientation by the pilot, and his failure to maintain aircraft control. Factors were the low ceilings, the dark night, the fog, and the trees.

Full narrative available

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