NTSB Identification: IAD01FA039.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 31, 2001 in PARIS, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/02/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-250, registration: N5841P
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 instrument rated pilot was ferrying his airplane from Warrenton-Faquier Airport (W66), Warrenton, Virginia, to Winchester Regional Airport (OKV), Winchester, Virginia, for an annual inspection. About 3 hours prior to departing, the pilot called flight service and told the briefer that he "would like to make a quick VFR flight from Warrenton over to Winchester", and wanted to know if he was "going to get a clear shot this afternoon for VFR." The briefer informed the pilot that the weather was forecasted to be visibility greater than 6 miles with a "best" overcast ceiling of 3,000 feet. The pilot did not request or receive the AIRMET that was issued and valid for mountain obscuration in Virginia. The airplane collided with mountainous terrain at the 1,604 foot level of the 1,880 foot high mountain in instrument meteorological conditions. When the airplane was reported missing, an air search could not be conducted due to low clouds, and a ground search was initiated. A Virginia State Trooper stated that the mountain had been fogged in on the day of the accident. Data extracted from a hand held GPS recovered depicted a northwesterly flight track from W66 toward OKV. The last recorded track point was superimposed over the accident site. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no mechanical deficiencies.

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

pilot's continued visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions.

Full narrative available

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