NTSB Identification: ATL07FA081
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, April 26, 2007 in Dawsonville, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/03/2008
Aircraft: Piper Aircraft PA-38-112, registration: N9247T
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.

On the morning of the accident, the instrument-rated pilot called an automated flight service station (AFSS) for a weather briefing. The briefer informed the pilot that there were thunderstorms and rain showers that extend to his destination. Following the briefing, the pilot ended the conversation with, “let me figure out which way is the best way to go and then maybe ill call back and file.” No further calls from the pilot were received by any AFSS. According to a witness, who was a certified flight instructor and lived near the mountainous accident site, he stepped out onto his back deck and watched a white T-tail airplane flying about an “approximate altitude of 2600 to 3000 feet mean sea level (MSL), headed in a north northeast direction, flying level.” The witness stated that the airplane was flying about 300 feet above the base of the lowest cloud layer, in and out of the clouds. The airplane was reported missing by family members the following morning and located by the Civil Air Patrol the next day. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomalies. The pilot had over 3000 hours of total flight time. The pilot did not file an instrument flight rules flight plan and continued his flight into adverse weather, with a low cloud ceiling, while crossing mountainous terrain.

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

The pilot’s improper decision to continue visual flight rules flight into instrument meteorological conditions, with a low cloud ceiling, over mountainous terrain.

Full narrative available

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