NTSB Identification: DEN01FA045.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 24, 2001 in Elbert, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 182K, registration: N2898R
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.

According to radar data, at 1729:09, the airplane departed on a night cross-country flight and its transponder was sending a 1200 (VFR) code. There were no records found of the flight contacting air traffic control, nor was it required to do so. The airplane climbed to 9,200 feet and flew toward the destination airport. At 1756:53, the airplane initiated a 250 foot per minute rate of descent. At 1800:55, the final radar image was received 11 miles north of the destination airport, at 8,200 feet msl (500 feet agl). Prior to the last radar return, the airplane had been in a steady, gradual descent. The accident site was located approximately 8 miles north-northeast of the destination airport. A witness, who lives near the accident site, reported that at the time of the accident dense fog conditions were occurring and the visibility was less than 50 yards. Review of weather observations revealed that the flight departed in visual meteorological conditions and the weather conditions deteriorated to instrument meteorological conditions as the flight progressed toward the destination airport. During the one hour time period surrounding the accident, the weather at the nearest observation facility to the accident site changed from a few clouds at 300 feet, scattered clouds at 1,300 feet, visibility 3 miles in fog, and a 1 degree temperature dew point spread, to broken clouds at 200 feet and a 0 degree temperature dew point spread. No record of the pilot receiving a pre-flight weather briefing from a flight service station was found. The airframe and engine were examined and no pre-impact anomalies were found that would have precluded their operation.

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

the pilot's continued visual flight rules (VFR) flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), which resulted in an in-flight collision with terrain. Contributing factors to the accident were the low clouds, reduced visibilities due to fog, and the dark night light condition.

Full narrative available

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