NTSB Identification: DEN05FA012.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 21, 2004 in Chester, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Beech F35, registration: N3889B
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.
During a cross-country flight, the non-instrument rated private pilot encountered instrument meteorological conditions, and the airplane was destroyed after impacting the terrain in a nose low attitude. Prior to the flight, the pilot obtained a weather briefing and the briefer informed the pilot that a VFR flight was not recommended. Personnel located at the departure airport stated prior to the flight, the pilot and passenger seemed tired and anixous to get home. Radar data depicted the airplane traveling in a west-northwesterly direction, then, approximately 4 minutes prior to the accident, the airplane executed a series of 360-degree turns. A witness located 1/4 mile from the accident site, reported misty and foggy weather conditions and visibility approximately 200 feet. The airplane came to rest on a rocky, open, 20-degree sloping hillside, and there were no ground scars noted except for the scars beneath the main wreckage. Examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal flight operations.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's inadequate planning/decision which resulted in VFR flight into IMC, and his failure to maintain terrain clearance. Contributing factors were the pilot's failure to follow the briefing recommendation, fog, mist, and observation. Full narrative available
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