NTSB Identification: NYC08FA215
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 15, 2008 in Cape Elizabeth, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/2009
Aircraft: CESSNA P337H, registration: N15EM
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.

Prior to departing on a cross-country flight, the pilot contacted a flight service station. The pilot was informed that visual flight rules (VFR) flight was not recommended, and after obtaining a weather briefing he filed an instrument-flight-rules (IFR) flight plan. The airplane departed in visual meteorological conditions and the pilot subsequently informed air traffic control that he was experiencing a problem with the airplane's artificial horizon, and that he wanted to try to conduct the flight under VFR. Approximately 15 minutes later, the pilot requested activation of his IFR flight plan. The airplane was flying in instrument meteorological conditions with light to moderate precipitation when radar and radio communications were lost. Radar data indicated that the airplane's heading varied from southwest to northwest, with a turn to the southeast immediately prior to the loss of radar contact. The airplane maintained an altitude between 7,900 and 8,200 feet, except for the last recorded altitude reading, which was at 7,200 feet. The airplane impacted the Atlantic Ocean at a high rate of speed and was not recovered. Review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed that its most recent annual inspection was conducted about 6 months prior to the accident.

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

The pilot's improper decision to continue the flight in instrument meteorological conditions after experiencing an attitude indicator malfunction.

Full narrative available

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