NTSB Identification: CEN10CA100
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 17, 2010 in Cedar Rapids, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/01/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA P172D, registration: N8584X
Injuries: 1 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 non-instrument-rated pilot received a preflight weather briefing and delayed the flight as instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) were forecast for his route of flight until 1200. The briefer stated that the ceiling at the pilot’s destination airport would probably be 2,000 feet overcast at best later in the day. At 1600, the pilot departed without obtaining another weather briefing, and received flight following during the course of the flight. The pilot reported that while en route he was going to stop for fuel; however, the destination airport was IMC so he decided to continue. Upon reaching his destination he discovered that the weather was IMC, so he diverted to a nearby airport, where he requested emergency assistance. The approach controller offered the nearest visual flight rules airport; however, the pilot stated that he did not have enough fuel to get there. The pilot informed the controller that he had practiced instrument landing system (ILS) approaches during a flight review. The controller gave the pilot vectors and a frequency for an ILS approach. The pilot stated that he attempted to fly the glideslope, but that he became confused as to whether he should climb or descend in order to center the glideslope needle. The airplane contacted the terrain about 2 miles east of the airport and sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. The pilot had a total of 4 hours of instrument flight time.

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

The pilot's continued visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions and his failure to maintain a proper glidepath during the approach. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of instrument proficiency.

Full narrative available

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