NTSB Identification: MIA05FA044.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 31, 2004 in Weston, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 210N, registration: N6195N
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.

A witness who was driving a car westbound on Interstate 75, stated that he observed the lights of an airplane in the night sky, and noted that the airplane descended at a steep descent angle, while proceeding from north to south, and it disappeared below his horizon. The witness further stated at that time it was raining intensely, was very windy, and the visibility had been greatly reduced. Emergency personnel responded, and the wreckage was found in about 3 feet of swamp water and sawgrass. At 1958:28, the pilot communicated with the Fort Lauderdale North Departure Controller, stating, "flight express one zero six level three thousand golf at Opa Locka." At 1957:28, the controller responded, "flight express one oh six fly heading one ah nine zero vectors for Opa Locka." At 1957:32, the pilot acknowledged, saying, "one nine zero degrees express one zero six." At 1959:33, the controller stated "flight express oh one zero six descend and maintain two thousand", and the pilot responded " down to two thousand flight express one oh six." At 2001:15, the controller stated " flight express one zero six contact Miami approach on one two five point five", and at 2001:19, the pilot responded, "twenty five five flight express one oh six." At 2001:51, the pilot stated, "Miami approach flight express one zero six level two thousand", and at 2001:56, the Miami South Departure Radar Controller responded, "flight express one oh six Miami approach good evening." At 2005:27, the controller stated "flight express one oh six Miami, and there was no response. Subsequent attempts by the controller to communicate with the flight yielded negative results. Radar data showed that after receiving instructions to descend and maintain 2000 feet, the pilot maintained 2,000 feet for about 9 seconds. The data then showed the airplane at an altitude of 1,900 feet for about 2 minutes and 25 seconds, after which the data showed the airplane to be in a gradual descent. At 2005:15 the last reliable radar data showed the airplane at 800 feet. The radar data also showed the pilot to be on a near steady southerly heading during the flight leg. The debris field was about 100 yards long, oriented on a southerly direction, and the sawgrass had been slashed consistent with a descent to the northern-most impact point. After recovery from the swamp, postcrash examination of the airframe, flight controls, and engine did not reveal any preaccident anomalies. A weather study conducted by the NTSB showed that at about the time of the accident, cloud bases were near 1,600 feet, and cloud tops were above 7,000 feet, with higher clouds above. The flight visibility was 0 miles in clouds and about 10 miles below the lowest cloud base. Conditions were also determined to be conducive to light turbulence below 5,000 feet, and the weather radar displayed echoes consistent with light rain being present.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain his assigned altitude, and allowed the airplane to descend for undetermined reasons resulting in an in-flight collision with terrain. Factors in the accident were clouds, rain, and the dark night.

Full narrative available

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