NTSB Identification: ERA11FA095
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 22, 2010 in Dundee, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/20/2012
Aircraft: MOONEY M20R, registration: N968SM
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.

Prior to departing on the night instrument meteorological conditions flight, the pilot obtained a weather briefing that included an airmen's meteorological information for moderate icing conditions below 12,000 feet and two pilot reports, one for light-to-moderate and one for moderate-to-severe icing conditions. The flight progressed toward the destination airport and the pilot was advised by an air traffic controller of pilot reports for moderate and severe icing conditions in the surrounding areas. The airplane intercepted the initial approach fix, turned onto the runway approach course, and began a normal descent through clouds without incident until it veered to the northeast and radar contact was lost. The airplane impacted the ground about 1 mile north-northwest of the last radar target and 8 miles south of the destination airport. No preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures were found that would have precluded normal operation. Evidence of significant in-flight ice accumulation was observed on the base of a communications antenna mounted on the top of the fuselage and on the upper surface of the inboard two-thirds of the left horizontal stabilizer. At the time of the accident, freezing precipitation, which coated the ground with ice, was present in the vicinity of the accident site. The airplane was not equipped with deicing systems and was not approved for flight into known icing conditions.

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

The pilot's decision to operate in known moderate-to-severe icing conditions, which resulted in a loss of control during approach.

Full narrative available

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