MIA03LA029
MIA03LA029

On December 14, 2002, about 1133 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-150, N5899W, registered to and operated by a private individual, as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed about 7 miles west of Cashiers, North Carolina. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The private-rated pilot and passenger received minor injuries, and the airplane incurred substantial damage. The flight originated in Nashville, Tennessee, the same day, about 0900.

The pilot stated that he had been flying the airplane initially at an altitude of 7,500 feet, and he saw some lenticular clouds along his route of flight, so he initiated a climb to 9,500 feet. He said that as he reached 9,000 feet, about 30 miles from Greenville, South Carolina, he saw the city in the distance. He said that after checking the automated terminal information service and noting that the cloud cover was reported as 5,000 feet scattered at the Greenville, South Carolina airport, he told the FAA Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center controller, who had been providing him with visual flight rules flight following service, that he would be initiating his descent in visual meteorological conditions. He said that was the last thing he remembered prior to the accident.

According to the FAA inspector who responded to the scene of the accident, the airplane impacted snow covered White Side Mountain, near Cashiers, North Carolina, at about the 4,200-foot level.

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