NTSB Identification: CHI07FA176.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 22, 2007 in Cannon Falls, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2008
Aircraft: Beech A36TC, registration: N3671S
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 private, non-instrument rated pilot departed in visual meteorological conditions (VMC) and requested visual flight rules (VFR) flight following to his destination. When he neared his destination, he contacted approach control and reported that his altitude was 2,500 feet above mean sea level (msl). Approach control informed the pilot that there were moderate to heavy rain showers over the destination airport. The pilot reported that he was experiencing "poor visibility" and was considering turning 180 degrees to "go back." Approach control informed the pilot that instrument meteorological conditions prevailed north of his position with moderate to heavy rain showers. The pilot reported, "We're, we're kinda in the soup at this point." The pilot reported that he was turning to the south and soon after the airplane was lost from radar contact. A witness reported that he heard an airplane and then saw the accident airplane descending through a cloud layer that was about 400 - 500 feet above the ground. The airplane was in about a 50-degree nose down attitude with the airplane's engine producing "cruise power." He reported that the airplane was flying at a high rate of speed for about four seconds until he heard the airplane impact the terrain. The observed weather in the area of the accident was reported as marginal VMC and instrument meteorological conditions. The inspection of the airplane revealed no preexisting anomalies.

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

The pilot's continued flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in spatial disorientaton and loss of control.

Full narrative available

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