NTSB Identification: CHI08CA235.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 03, 2008 in Watertown, SD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 150L, registration: N16235
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 pilot reported that during the cross country night flight he began losing altitude while listening to the automated weather service broadcast for the destination airport. He did not notice the altitude loss. The pilot decided to go to an alternate airport, turned for the alternate, and descended during the turn. At that point he noticed the altitude loss, pulled back on the yoke, and impacted a cornfield. The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions with the airplane during the accident flight. The pilot's safety recommendation was "haze is deceptive."

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

The pilot's failure to maintain altitude/clearance from terrain during cruise. Contributing to the accident was the night, the haze, and the tall vegetation.

Full narrative available

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