NTSB Identification: CHI04FA071.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 16, 2004 in Rozel, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 182Q, registration: N735RD
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 cross country flight departed without a flight plan, and the airplane was found destroyed in an agricultural field located in a sparely populated area. Night visual and instrument meteorological conditions were reported between the flight's departure and destination airports. A weather briefing was given to a caller representing the accident airplane in which the caller did not specifically request and was not provided with a standard weather briefing for the flight. Weather briefing information provided by the flight service station briefer indicated visual flight rule conditions. The briefer did not provide available weather forecast and present weather information that would have depicted instrument meteorological conditions in southwestern Kansas. Witnesses in the area reported observing instrument meteorological conditions in the accident site vicinity. According to the operator of the accident airplane, the pilot had not flown instruments for about three years and did not have more than 20 hours of actual instrument flight time. No mechanical anomalies were noted with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The inadvertent flight into instrument meteorological conditions, the spatial disorientation, and aircraft control not maintained by the pilot during cruise flight. Contributing to the accident were the night instrument meteorological conditions due to low ceilings and low visibility, an incomplete pre-flight weather briefing, and the lack of recent experience in instrument meteorological conditions.

Full narrative available

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