NTSB Identification: FTW02FA118.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 12, 2002 in Amarillo, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2003
Aircraft: Cessna T182, registration: N983HH
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.
The pilot obtained two weather briefings prior to the takeoff for a visual flight rules day cross-country flight to Amarillo (AMA), Texas. His estimated arrival time at AMA was 1000 central daylight time (cdt). According to the weather briefings, the forecast for AMA indicated occasional visibility of 5 statute miles, mist, and overcast clouds at 2,000 feet. The pilot was also advised of a lingering stationary front in the Texas Panhandle and thunderstorms in the area. At 0818 cdt, the pilot radioed a flight service station over a flight watch frequency to obtain updated weather for AMA. The pilot was informed that a convective sigmet was in effect, and that flight under visual flight rules was not recommended. The briefer also informed the pilot that the forecast for AMA for the next 90 minutes indicated an occasional ceiling of broken clouds at 600 feet. At 0927 cdt, a special weather observation for AMA indicated visibility of 4 statute miles, mist, broken clouds at 300 feet, and overcast clouds at 700 feet. At 0933 cdt, the pilot contacted approach control, confirmed he had the current ATIS, and requested Special VFR to the airport, advising the controller that he was at 3,700 feet mean sea level (msl) (AMA airport elevation is 3,607 feet msl). At 0940 cdt, the pilot reported he was 8 miles north of the airport, and between 3,700 feet and 3,800 feet msl. Radar contact was established when the airplane was 6 miles north of AMA. At 0941 cdt, the controller issued the pilot permission to enter Class C airspace and to maintain Special VFR conditions. The pilot confirmed the clearance. Subsequent attempts by the controller to establish communications with N983HH proved unsuccessful. The airplane impacted a power plant 5 miles northwest of the airport at the 154 foot level. Witnesses who observed the aircraft just prior to the accident reported very foggy conditions. No aircraft or engine anomalies were noted that would have prevented normal operations.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with the power plant while maneuvering, and his intentional flight into adverse weather conditions. Contributing factors were low clouds, fog, the power plant, and low altitude flight.
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