NTSB Identification: DFW07CA014.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Friday, October 27, 2006 in Ethel, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2007
Aircraft: Champion 7ECA, registration: N2590F
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The 1,164-hour commercial pilot reported that he departed the airport on a night VFR cross-country flight to an aerial application airstrip where he was employed to perform aircraft maintenance services. Soon after breaking ground, the tailwheel-equipped airplane entered instrument meteorological conditions and the non-instrument-rated pilot initiated a descent out of the fog with the intention to return to the airport. The airplane impacted trees and terrain while maneuvering to regain visual contact with the ground. The pilot sustained only minor injuries; however, a post-crash fire destroyed the airplane. In a written statement, the pilot stated that he departed while it was still dark, and only gained a little attitude before "encountering IMC conditions." The pilot further reported that he was attempting to lower his altitude and turn back, when the airplane impacted the trees. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the impact. In the safety recommendation block of the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, the pilot added that since there was no weather reporting stations in the immediate area, it would be "advised to fly only during daytime or on a completely clear night."

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with the trees and terrain. Contributing factors were the prevailing fog and the dark night conditions.

Full narrative available

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