NTSB Identification: CHI03FA078.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 05, 2003 in Sparta, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2005
Aircraft: Beech A36, registration: N7253Z
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.

The airplane encountered moderate icing conditions during cruise flight and impacted trees and terrain while the pilot attempted to divert to an alternate airport. The pilot reported to air traffic control (ATC), on several occasions, that the airplane had accumulated structural ice. The pilot passed several airports before ultimately diverting to a nearby airport because of degraded aircraft performance. The pilot told ATC that, "we're gonna need vectors...we're not gonna make it up there, we're already in stall mode, for this airplane is full of ice." The airplane impacted trees and terrain about 4.3 nautical miles south of the airport. The accident occurred at night in instrument meteorological conditions. An AIRMET for icing conditions had been issued for occasional moderate rime and mixed icing while in clouds and precipitation below 15,000 feet msl. Several PIREPs indicated moderate rime and mixed icing between 2,500 and 6,000 feet msl. The airplane was not equipped with deicing equipment and was not approved for flight into known icing conditions. The aircraft's pilot operating handbook states that, "Flight into icing conditions is prohibited."

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

The pilot's inadequate in-flight planning/decision by his flight into known icing conditions which resulted in airframe icing and degraded aircraft performance until the onset of a stall.

Full narrative available

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