NTSB Identification: SEA01FA060.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 08, 2001 in Mica, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/04/2002
Aircraft: Cessna U206G, registration: CGISV
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 Canadian ATP rated pilot, who was reported to have in excess of 30,000 hours of flight experience, was attempting to fly the company's Cessna U206G from Seattle, Washington, to Calgary, Alberta. He obtained 3 weather briefings from Seattle Flight Service between 0823 and 1040 on the day of the accident. VFR flight north to Vancouver, British Columbia, and east across the Cascade Mountains was not recommended and the pilot chose a southerly route taking him south from Renton, WA, to the Columbia River, then east along the River to The Dalles, Oregon, and then northeast to Spokane, WA, where he planned to stop en route to Calgary, Alberta. The pre-departure weather briefing, as well as the in-flight briefing the pilot subsequently received, as well as the validity of the weather information provided (forecasts and advisories) was found to be correct and satisfactory. Although the pilot was IFR rated, he did not file an IFR flight plan. Additionally, he filed his flight plan as transponder Mode "C" equipped, but approaching Spokane advised the tower that "...we're having some transponder trouble here...." The pilot's son reported that the aircraft's transponder was questionable. Unable to utilize radar vectors approaching the Spokane area due to the lack of a transponder signal, the pilot radioed "...I'm going to see if I can work my way over to Coeur d'Alene or go back south and pick up a small airport...." The aircraft was observed heading north-northeast at an elevation of approximately 300 feet AGL by a witness driving on highway 27 (2,600 MSL) . The witness reported that the aircraft was under the fog line and then it disappeared into the fog heading toward Mica Peak. The aircraft impacted trees on a heading of approximately 015 degrees and in a slightly nose up attitude before impacting the rising terrain near Mica Peak at an elevation of 4,760 feet MSL. The witness reported weather conditions at his location as poor visibility, strong rain, low clouds and fog.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's continued flight into instrument meteorological conditions. Contributing factors were fog, low ceilings, drizzle/mist, rising terrain, and the non-availability of a functioning transponder. Full narrative available
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