NTSB Identification: CEN11FA240
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 20, 2011 in Baraboo, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 150D, registration: N4178U
Injuries: 2 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 student pilot departed on a 108-nautical-mile cross-country flight. About the time of departure, a weather reporting station near the departure airport reported visual meteorological conditions with few clouds at 8,000 feet above ground level (agl) and 10 miles of visibility. About this time, a weather reporting station near the destination airport was reporting instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) with 4 miles of visibility and an overcast ceiling at 700 feet agl. That station, about 10 miles from the accident site, continued to report IMC through the time of the accident. About 10 minutes after the accident time, the weather consisted of a 700-foot overcast ceiling and 2 1/2 miles of visibility. There was no record that the pilot had obtained a weather briefing prior to the flight.

The radar track of the accident flight was not a straight-line course and contained several course and altitude changes. During the last 15 miles of the flight, the flight path was jagged and culminated in a right turn with the airplane completing about 1 1/2 turns before the end of the data. The last radar position was about 0.57 miles from the accident site and about 1,600 feet agl. The airplane was equipped with gyroscopic instruments, but the pilot had only accumulated 0.5 hours of simulated instrument training when the accident occurred. He did not have an instructor’s endorsement to conduct the cross-country flight and was carrying a passenger, contrary to regulations.

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

The student pilot’s inadequate preflight planning and his decision to continue the flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in a subsequent loss of airplane control.

Full narrative available

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