NTSB Identification: CEN09FA603
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 24, 2009 in Houma, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/01/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 182Q, registration: N96894
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 non-instrument rated commercial pilot requested and received a Special visual flight rules (SVFR) clearance to take off. Weather was below VFR minimums with a reported ceiling of 300 feet and seven miles visibility, and witnesses reported fog in the area. The pilot’s last radio transmission occurred at 0605 and the wreckage was located one mile south of the runway at 1225. No evidence of an airplane malfunction was found during postaccident wreckage examination and airplane wreckage and impact scars were indicative of a loss of airplane control prior to impact. The airplane was not equipped to fly in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). The pilot's lack of instrument flight certification combined with the poor weather conditions were conducive to spatial disorientation. Toxicology results were positive for ethanol. Postaccident conditions were conducive to post-mortem ethanol production in the pilot.

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

The pilot’s decision to take off into instrument meteorological conditions.

Full narrative available

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