NTSB Identification: DFW05FA052.
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Accident occurred Monday, January 10, 2005 in Coleman, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 150M, registration: N45173
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 122-hour pilot was known to make short (less than one hour) local flights in the mornings. On the day of the accident, he departed about 0730 and at 1130, a rancher located the wreckage of the airplane on his property and called 911. The pilot was not a certificated pilot; however, he was issued a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical on July 16, 2002. Examination of his logbook revealed that during the two-year period that his medical was valid (expired July 31, 2004), he logged flight instruction from a flight instructor and had received several 90-day solo endorsements. The pilot's last 90-day solo endorsement was logged on July 2, 2004. A review of FAA airman records revealed the pilot attempted to renew his medical certificate on August 5, 2004, but was denied. At the time of the accident, the pilot had accrued approximately 122 total flight hours. Weather reported at an airport approximately 20 miles east-southeast of the accident site, at 0745, was reported as wind from 170 degrees at 4 knots, 6 statute miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 59 degrees Fahrenheit, and dew point 59 degrees Fahrenheit. An hour later, the weather had deteriorated to a quarter-mile visibility, overcast ceiling at 100 feet, temperature 61 degrees Fahrenheit, and a dew point 61 degrees Fahrenheit. The pilot did not obtain a weather briefing before departure. A helicopter pilot, who was performing aerial spraying flights on the morning of the accident, stated that he departed at 0720 and began spraying runs in the local area. He was scheduled to spray fields near the accident site, but "it was fogged in."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadequate in-flight planning/decision by his VFR flight into IMC which resulted in his failure to maintain aircraft control. Contributing factors were fog and the pilot's inadequate preflight preparation.
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