NTSB Identification: DEN02FA043.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 17, 2002 in Casper, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/01/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 170A, registration: N1211D
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 private pilot, on a flight from Watkins, Colorado, to Thermopolis, Wyoming, diverted and landed at Casper, Wyoming, because of stormy weather along his route of flight. According to the pilot's wife, about 0030 the pilot determined that he would wait at Casper until sunrise, but was going to stop at the Flight Service Station and see what they had to say. About 0400, the pilot's wife received a call from Flight Service asking if the pilot had gotten home and forgot to close his flight plan. She told them that he wasn't there but would check and see if he had landed at the Thermopolis Airport. Flight Service told her that the pilot waited at their office until 0230 when the weather began to clear up. He left after that. At 0600, the pilot's wife contacted Flight Service and informed them that her husband was not at Thermopolis. Search and rescue was initiated. The airplane was found at 0730. It had impacted rolling terrain 15 miles west-northwest of Casper and was destroyed. At 0203, the reported weather at Casper was scattered clouds at 1,100 feet, ceiling 2,000 feet overcast, visibility 10 statute miles, temperature 43 degrees F, dew point 39 degrees F, winds 360 degrees at 6 knots, and an altimeter setting of 30.20 inches of Mercury. Civil Air Patrol personnel and local sheriff's deputies, reported dense fog in the Casper area during the early morning hours. The pilot did not have an instrument rating. An examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies.

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

the pilot's inadvertent flight into adverse weather conditions and his subsequent failure to maintain aircraft control. A factor contributing to this accident was the fog.

Full narrative available

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