NTSB Identification: SEA02FA185.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 29, 2002 in Medford, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 172S, registration: N514SP
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.

Radar identified the aircraft departing from an airport in Idaho with a destination to an airport in Oregon. The flight tracking continued in a southwesterly direction toward the destination airport. Two in-flight weather briefings were recorded with advisories given to the pilot for mountain obscuration and turbulence along the route of flight. The last briefing was about 10 minutes prior to the accident. Radar flight tracking identified the aircraft at about 8,800 feet and traveling toward and colliding with a 9,495 foot mountain. Dark night conditions existed at the time for the VFR flight. The wreckage was located at about the 8,700 foot level on steep mountainous terrain. On sight documentation indicated that the point of impact was on a rock face about 100 feet above the wreckage. The propeller assembly was found between the rock face and the main wreckage that had slid down to its final resting point. Documentation of the aircraft revealed severe aft compression crushing to the entire length of leading edge of both wings. The nose and cockpit were severely compromised. The propeller displayed severe leading edge gouges and chordwise scratching.

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

Terrain clearance was not maintained during cruise flight. Dark night and mountainous terrain were factors.

Full narrative available

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