NTSB Identification: ERA10CA017
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 10, 2009 in Lebanon, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N43620
Injuries: 1 Serious,2 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 stated that he was in cruise flight at 2,500 feet when he encountered low clouds and fog. He lost visual contact with the ground and initiated a climbing left turn. Seconds later, he impacted rising terrain which resulted in substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and the empennage. Prior to the flight, the pilot obtained a weather briefing from a flight service station that forecasted overcast ceilings at 3,000 feet and 10 miles visibility near the route of flight with conditions improving throughout the day. The pilot stated that the weather at the time of the accident was approximately 5 miles visibility, with an overcast ceiling at 3,000 feet.

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

The pilot’s decision to continue flight under visual flight rules into known deteriorating weather conditions, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain.

Full narrative available

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