NTSB Identification: CEN12FA090
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 26, 2011 in Mescalero, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/14/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 182R, registration: N9408X
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 radar air traffic controller advised the pilot of an area of light precipitation 15 miles ahead at his 12 o’clock position, about 10 miles in diameter, and extending about 10 miles along his flight path. Shortly thereafter, the non-instrument-rated pilot said that he was turning around due to the poor visibility. A few minutes later, the pilot said he would make another attempt to penetrate the weather then consider landing at an alternate airport if he was unable to get through. The last radio transmission from the pilot occurred when he acknowledged the controller's advisement that radar services were terminated and the instruction to change to an advisory frequency. When the airplane was reported overdue, a search was initiated and the wreckage was located 4 days later. GPS information indicated that the airplane was in a right spiral at a ground speed of 207 knots. The recovered airspeed indicator faceplate bore a “slap mark” at 150 knots. It is likely that the airplane entered instrument meteorological conditions, and the pilot was unable to maintain control.

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

The pilot's intentional attempt to fly into adverse weather, which resulted in an in-flight loss of control. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of instrument experience.

Full narrative available

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