NTSB Identification: FTW03FA111.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 15, 2003 in Prattsville, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/29/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-38-112, registration: N91594
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 single-engine airplane impacted a radio tower guy-wire and terrain while on a VFR cross-country flight. The 75-hour non-instrument rated private pilot had purchased the airplane 3 days prior to the accident. Witnesses reported that they could not see the airplane due to the fog, but heard it as it maneuvered overhead. The person, who leases the field that the airplane impacted, reported that at the time of the accident, he could not see the 500-foot radio tower's lower strobe light, which is about 150 to 250 feet above the ground. At 0653, the nearest weather observation facility reported winds from 360 at 6 knots, an indefinite ceiling at 100 feet, visibility 1/4 statute mile in fog, temperature 43 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 43 degrees Fahrenheit, and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of Mercury.

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

The pilot's execution of VFR flight into IMC and his failure to maintain obstacle clearance. Fog conditions and the pilot's lack of an instrument rating are contributing factors.

Full narrative available

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