NTSB Identification: ATL04LA097.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 23, 2004 in Oakland, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2005
Aircraft: Durr Lancair Legacy, registration: N511WD
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 received an abbreviated preflight briefing from an FAA Automated Flight Service Station. The pilot informed the briefer that he knew about the weather along his planned route of flight and that he wanted to know about the thunderstorm activity. At the completion of the briefing the pilot informed the briefer that he was going to take a look. The pilot contacted Memphis Approach Control level at 6,000 feet. The controller asked the pilot for his heading and the pilot stated 356-degrees. The controller then asked the pilot if he wanted to continue on that heading or turn east bound to go-around the weather. The pilot stated, "I'd like to avoid the weather" The controller acknowledged the pilot's request and instructed him to turn right to a heading of 060-degrees. The pilot informed the controller, "The route straight ahead as far as I can see looks VMC I'd like to be sure on that but I appreciate your input." The controller replied, “All right - stay on course and let me know if that weather starts to become a problem for you.” The pilot acknowledged the controller. The controller informed the pilot that he was going to run into a 10-mile band of showers that was crossing his flight path, but did not provide any information on the intensity of the echoes. The controller stated that the quickest way through the weather was on a heading of 330-degrees. The pilot stated, "alright sir we'll go to three thirty and we'll slow down a little bit." A short time later the controller informed the pilot that it appeared the airplane was encountering some up drafts. The controller informed the pilot there were no targets around his altitude, and he should be out of the weather in about 10 miles. The pilot acknowledged the transmission. The controller made a radio call in the blind stating that radar contact was lost 30 miles northeast of Memphis. He further stated, if you can hear, suggest a heading of northwest bound to get through the weather. You are in an area of level four and level five thunderstorms. No communication was received from the pilot. Review of radar data revealed the airplane started a descending right turn at 09:58:54 and the last radar beacon code was at 09:59:12. No primary radar targets were depicted in the accident area. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 7110.65, "Air Traffic Control," contains guidance to controllers on the supply of radar-observed weather information to pilots.
a. Issue pertinent information on observed/reported weather or chaff areas. Provide radar navigational guidance and/or approve deviations around weather or chaff areas when requested by the pilot.
1. Issue weather and chaff information by defining the area of coverage in terms of azimuth (by referring to the 12-hour clock) and distance from the aircraft or by indicating the general width of the area and the area of coverage in terms of fixes or distance and direction from fixes.
2. Issue the level of echo intensity when that information is available.

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

The pilot loss control of the airplane when he continued flight into known thunderstorm and convective activity. A factor is insufficient information provided by ATC personnel.

Full narrative available

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