NTSB Identification: ATL07FA005.
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Accident occurred Monday, October 09, 2006 in Gunthertown, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2008
Aircraft: Beech BE-19A, registration: N6974Q
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.

About 24 minutes before departure, the pilot received a weather briefing from a flight service station that informed him that overcast conditions at 1200 feet could be expected along his route of flight. The briefer also informed the pilot that flight under visual flight rules (VFR) was not recommended; however, the pilot elected to depart under VFR. Although no radar data exists for the flight, the location of the accident site was consistent with the pilot having flown the airplane toward the Talladega National Forest, an area where the pilot frequently flew. After the pilot failed to arrive at his destination, a search was initiated, and the wreckage was located on October 11, 2006, at 1340, on Burgess Peak, at an elevation of 1,787 feet mean sea level. The airplane first impacted the top of a tree on the south side of Burgess Peak on a 300-degree heading. This heading coincides with the heading the pilot would have been flying when he departed the Auburn-Opelika Airport, indicating the pilot was on his intended heading and had control of the airplane at the time of the first tree impact. A review of the weather briefing the pilot received from Flight Service prior to his departure, revealed that the airplane likely encountered instrument meteorological conditions and near zero visibility at the altitude of the accident site. Examination of the airplane found no preimpact mechanical failure or malfunctions that would have prevented the airplane from operating properly.

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

The pilot's continued flight from VMC into IMC conditions which resulted in an in-flight collision with rising terrain.

Full narrative available

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