NTSB Identification: ATL06FA029.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 29, 2005 in Sylva, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2007
Aircraft: Cirrus Design Corp. SR22, registration: N799TM
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.

The aircraft collided with trees and terrain after encountering forecasted instrument meteorological conditions. About 30 minutes before the accident the pilot N799TM contacted the FAA Gainesville, Georgia, Flight Service Station (FSS), requested to file an instrument flight plan, and received a weather briefing for a flight from the Jackson County Airport in Sylva, North Carolina, to Pensacola, Florida. The Gainesville FSS briefer informed the pilot of the current weather conditions, and referenced a flight precaution for mountain obscuration throughout the day. The pilot stated to the briefer that he was looking through a hole right now, and was pretty sure he could stay VFR. The pilot also informed the briefer "he could see the top of the clouds, and see a little bit of the blue". The briefer also informed the pilot of a flight precaution for moderate turbulence below ten thousand feet. The pilot stated, "that he would be looking for it". Prior to departing, the pilot inquired as to how to activate an IFR flight plan once he departed. The briefer informed the pilot he could open the IFR flight plan once airborne. There were no further communications with the airplane once airborne. Witnesses in the vicinity of the accident site reported hearing an airplane flying low in a southerly direction. The sound of the engine faded away, and then "rev-up" followed by the sound of trees breaking with a loud "thump". The witnesses stated "that you could not see more that 50-feet in front of you", and that it was very foggy. A search team was dispatched and was unable to locate the airplane due to inclement weather conditions in the area. The airplane was located the following day on the side of the Savannah Ridge Mountain at an elevation of 4,400 feet, 5 miles south of the Jackson County Airport. Post accident examination of the airframe, flight controls, engine assembly, and accessories revealed no anomalies.

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

The pilot's continued VFR flight into IMC conditions resulting in a collision with mountainous terrain.

Full narrative available

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