NTSB Identification: MIA03FA066.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, February 25, 2003 in Osteen, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N97890
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 flight departed with full fuel tanks, proceeded eastbound then northwest bound and when the flight was east-northeast of the departure airport, the pilot performed approximately four 360-degree turns to the left. During each orbit, the airplane moved closer to the departure airport. The last recorded radar target at 600 feet was located at 28 degrees 49.1 minutes North latitude and 081 degrees 01.73 minutes West longitude. The airplane crashed in a wooded area during daylight hours, the crash site was located approximately 061 degrees and .66 nautical mile from the last radar target. The ELT activated, and a search for the airplane was initiated by the Civil Air Patrol, and local law enforcement. The wreckage was spotted 10 hours and 44 minutes after the time of the accident. The fuselage and wings were fragmented. All components necessary to sustain flight were attached or located in close proximity to the accident site. The flaps were retracted. Examination of the flight controls revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. Following recovery the engine was placed on a test stand, and with a replacement propeller installed, the engine was started and operated to 2,300 rpm; the rpm drop during each magneto check was between 100 and 150 rpm. The autopsy report indicates the manner of death as "suicide."

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

The intentional suicidal act by the pilot-in-command resulting in the in-flight collision with trees then the ground.

Full narrative available

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