NTSB Identification: ERA09FA074
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 30, 2008 in Homosassa Spgs., FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/23/2010
Aircraft: BEECH 35-B33, registration: N945T
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 day of the accident the pilot contacted the St. Petersburg Flight Service Station at 0852, 1308, and 1701 local time. Each time, he requested an abbreviated weather briefing and was told of embedded thunderstorms and convective activity along the route of flight. He was also told that there was a tornado watch in effect for central and southern Florida. After amending the instrument-flight-rules flight plan takeoff time three times, the flight was cleared to take off from runway 36 at 1730. After takeoff the flight was handed off to Jacksonville Center (ZJX) and the controller provided information on the moderate and heavy precipitation along the pilot's route of flight for the next 100 miles. The pilot requested deviation of "any holes" left or right of the flight path. The controller informed him that the moderate to heavy precipitation was to the left and right of them for 200 miles. About 10 minutes after the initial contact with the controller, the pilot asked "How much further does it look for us?...Getting bumped around pretty bad here." The ZJX controller advised that they were in moderate precipitation for the next 30 miles and briefed them on what to expect for the next several miles; the pilot acknowledged the transmission. After about 5 minutes, the controller informed the pilot that they were in a patch with no precipitation and again briefed him on what to expect for the remainder of the flight; the pilot never acknowledged the transmission and no further transmissions were received. About 30 seconds later, with the flight over the Gulf of Mexico and on a southeast heading at approximately 5,000 feet msl, radar contact was lost. Prior to the loss of contact radar returns show that the airplane began a right descending turn. At that time, satellite weather imagery depicted a line of clouds along a front and over the last radar hit consisting of nimbostratus to embedded cumulonimbus clouds with level 3 to 4 intensity echoes. The airplane was most likely not equipped with any airborne weather detection and avoidance systems. The main wreckage was never located; however, some personal items and a small amount of debris from the airplane were found floating on the surface of the water near the last recorded radar return.

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

The pilot’s continued flight into known adverse weather conditions.

Full narrative available

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