NTSB Identification: NYC03FA015.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 31, 2002 in Accident, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2004
Aircraft: Cessna 182S, registration: N7099L
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 pilot had attended initial instrument flight training at a facility in Ohio during the 2 weeks prior to the accident. Unable to complete the training, he elected to return home to Connecticut. While en route, the pilot contacted air traffic control for flight following advisories and information about the cloud conditions ahead of him. The pilot also contacted a flight service station (FSS), for further weather advisories. Upon contact with the FSS, the pilot stated that he was in level flight at 3,300 feet, flying in and out of the clouds, and encountering light icing conditions. The FSS specialist advised the pilot of instrument meteorological conditions along the route of flight, mountain obscuration, and icing conditions. The FSS specialist also recommended that the pilot climb to 6,000 feet, where he could expect VFR. The pilot responded that his flight conditions were "not that bad," and he would remain at 3,300 feet. The weather advisory was terminated, and the pilot re-contacted the air traffic controller, requesting a climb because he had rime ice. The controller replied that an airplane had reported ice at 7,000 feet, and another had reported cloud tops at 7,400 feet. The pilot then stated that he could not maintain VFR, and had "been in it" for 10-15 minutes. He further stated that he was getting some ice build up, but was "ok" with it. The controller then observed the accident airplane's target disappear from the radar screen. No further transmissions were received from the pilot. A witness who lived less than a 1/4 mile from the accident site observed the airplane descend out of the clouds, heading south. The airplane passed overhead, just over the treetops, made a 180-degree turn to the right, and descended into a field. The airplane touched down hard, and came to rest upright in the soft, plowed, field. Witnesses reported that the weather about the time of the accident included a low cloud layer, and mixed precipitation of ice and snow.

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

The pilots improper in-flight decision to continue flight into known adverse weather conditions. A factor related to the accident was the icing conditions.

Full narrative available

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