NTSB Identification: NYC08FA324
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 26, 2008 in Vineyard Haven, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/15/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 402, registration: N770CA
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 pilot of the multiengine airplane, operated by a regional airline, was conducting a positioning flight in night instrument meteorological conditions. After takeoff, the airplane made a slight left turn before making a right turn that continued until radar contact was lost. The airplane reached a maximum altitude of 700 feet before impacting terrain about 3 miles northwest of the departure airport. Postaccident examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact failures. The weather reported at the airport, about the time of the accident, included a visibility of 5 statute miles in light rain and mist and an overcast ceiling at 400 feet. Analysis of the radar and weather data indicated that, with the flight accelerating and turning just after having entered clouds, the pilot likely experienced spatial disorientation.

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

A loss of aircraft control due to spatial disorientation.

Full narrative available

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