NTSB Identification: ATL04LA140.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 24, 2004 in Asheville, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 172S, registration: N2116P
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the certified flight instructor, the student pilot was flying the airplane. He stated that, before the departure, they reviewed the weather data on the weather computer for the dark night flight. He stated that they climbed to 7500 feet and stayed there for about an hour using the moving map display for navigation, and the multifunctional display for terrain avoidance. He said the ceiling began to drop and to stay clear of clouds they adjusted their altitude to 5500 feet to maintain visual flight. The ceiling dropped some more and they adjusted their altitude to 4000 feet. The CFI and the student then descended to 3500 feet and according to the CFI, immediately upon reaching 3500 feet, the airplane began colliding with tree tops. He said they collided with trees in a level attitude.

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

The CFII's inadequate visual lookout and failure to maintain clear of objects during flight. Factors were clouds and dark night.

Full narrative available

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