NTSB Identification: CEN09LA054
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 11, 2008 in Mena, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/11/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 177RG, registration: N2526V
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot was en-route to a business engagement and was flying in an area of deteriorating weather conditions. The airplane impacted a mountain ridge in instrument meteorological conditions and was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. A witness, located approximately one mile north of the accident site, heard the sounds of impact and described “very foggy” conditions with a visibility of 50 feet. Another witness driving along the highway on the mountain ridge was in “dense fog” with visibility of 1/4 mile. The witness saw the wreckage on the side of the highway with the airplane fully involved in fire. The witness said the pilot was unbelted and almost completely outside the airplane. Because of the flames the witness said he was unable to get close enough to move the pilot. An examination of the airframe and engine showed no evidence of a preexisting anomaly that would have precluded normal operation. The report of the medical examiner noted the pilot’s cause of death as “Hypertensive Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease.” The pilot apparently died of a pre-existing natural disease during his attempt to extricate himself from the wreckage.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from rising terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's continued flight into deteriorating weather conditions.

Full narrative available

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