NTSB Identification: MIA08FA080.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 16, 2008 in Wildwood, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 182B, registration: C-FFBC
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 noninstrument rated pilot departed on a visual flight rules cross country flight at night without obtaining a weather briefing. Review of the pilot's logbook revealed he flew 11.3 total night hours in 2007, and that he logged .2 hours of night 5 days prior to the accident. The pilot's last instrument dual instructional flight was on March 6, 1981, and the last simulated instrument flight was on December 1, 2003. The closest weather reporting facility located 7.5 miles from the accident site reported an overcast ceiling of 1,000 feet. At the time of the accident, the moon and sun were more than 11 degrees below the horizon. Review of radar data revealed the flight altitude varied from 800 feet to a high of 2,400 feet. The airplane was observed on radar to turn to the left, and back to the right four different times. The last radar contact with the airplane was 20 statute miles from the accident site. A witness who lived 10 statute miles from the accident site stated he was at his home, and heard an airplane approaching. He looked out the window towards the west, the ceilings were between 800 to 1000 feet, and it was dark with very little ambient light. He observed the airplane flying from the west to the east, and the navigation and landing lights were on. The airplane appeared to be near the base of the clouds, and it passed north of his house, and started a turn to the north, where it disappeared from view. Examination of the crash site revealed the airplane collided with a swamp, and a tree-lined open field in a nose low, right wing down attitude on a heading of 360 degrees magnetic. The wreckage debris line extended 219 feet. Examination of the airframe, flight controls, engine assembly, and accessories, revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction.

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

The noninstrument rated pilot's failure to maintain terrain clearance at night in marginal visual flight conditions. Contributing to the accident was the dark night, and low cloud ceilings.

Full narrative available

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