NTSB Identification: ATL02FA031.
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Accident occurred Saturday, January 05, 2002 in Rio Grande, PR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 441, registration: N441AW
Injuries: 5 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 pilot was on a visual rules flight from Culebra, Puerto Rico to San Juan, Puerto Rico. No flight plan was filed and a weather briefing was not obtained. The pilot contacted San Juan Radar Approach Control 10 miles east of Fajardo, Puerto Rico and the controller stated the airplane was in radar contact 3 miles east of Farjardo airport. The pilot was instructed to enter a right downwind for runway 10 south of plaza Carolina. The pilot acknowledged the transmission and reported he was at 1,600 feet. Two minutes later the controller stated on the radio frequency, radar contact was lost. The airplane was located by ground personnel on the side of El Yunque Mountain. Review of weather data revealed a weak cold front extended over Puerto Rico. Satellite imagery at the time of the accident revealed a band of low clouds obscuring the accident site. A police helicopter pilot who attempted to reach the crash site reported instrument flight conditions. Examination of the airframe, flight controls, engine assemblies and accessories revealed no anomalies.

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

The pilot continued visual flight flight into instrument flight conditions resulting in an in-flight collision with terrain. Low clouds were a factor.

Full narrative available

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