NTSB Identification: ATL02FA077.
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Accident occurred Monday, April 08, 2002 in Blowing Rock, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2004
Aircraft: Beech E35, registration: N3292C
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.

Witnesses reported hearing the airplane maneuvering in a valley between two mountain ridges before seeing a fireball. The wreckage was located in a wooded area at the 3,600-foot level of a mountain ridge. Wreckage debris was scattered approximately 150 feet along a 360-degree magnetic heading from a group of trees freshly broken at similar heights. A weather observation facility 3.4 nautical miles northwest of the accident site at an elevation of 3,200 feet issued ten weather reports between 0802 and 1102 at approximately 20-minute intervals. The highest reported visibility during that time frame was 3 statute miles, and the highest reported ceiling was 500 feet. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of pre-impact malfunction of the airframe or the engine.

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

The pilot's continued VFR flight in to known IMC, which resulted in an in-flight collision with trees in mountainous terrain. A factor was low ceiling.

Full narrative available

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