NTSB Identification: CEN11FA201
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 23, 2011 in Connersville, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/14/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 421C, registration: N3875C
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.

A witness reported that, despite the darkness, he was able to see the navigation lights on the airplane as it flew over the south end of the airport at an altitude of 150 to 200 feet above the ground. The airplane made a left turn to the downwind leg of the traffic pattern and continued a descending turn until the airplane impacted the ground in a near-vertical attitude. Due to the airplaneā€™s turn, the 10- to 20-knot quartering headwind became a quartering tailwind. The airplane was also turned toward a rural area with very little ground lighting. A postaccident examination of the airplane and engines did not reveal any preimpact anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

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

The pilot did not maintain control of the airplane while making a low-altitude turn during dark night conditions.

Full narrative available

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