NTSB Identification: MIA03LA029.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 14, 2002 in Cashiers, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-150, registration: N5899W
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot said he had just climbed to 9,000 feet, about 30 miles from Greenville, South Carolina, he saw the city in the distance. He said that after checking the automated terminal information service and noting that the cloud cover was reported as 5,000 feet scattered at the Greenville, South Carolina airport, he told the FAA Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center controller, who had been providing him with visual flight rules flight following service, that he would be initiating his descent in visual meteorological conditions. He said that was the last thing he remembered prior to the accident. According to the FAA inspector who responded to the scene of the accident, the airplane impacted snow covered White Side Mountain, near Cashiers, North Carolina, at about the 4,200-foot level.

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

The pilot's inadequate in-flight decision by which he conducted visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions and his failure to maintain terrain clearance. Contributing factors were a low ceiling and mountainous terrain.

Full narrative available

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