Narrative:Flight 142 departed Pittsburgh at 16:41. Eight minutes after take-off the pilot was given the 16:30 Morgantown weather; Ceiling 1200 feet, visibility 2 miles, light fog. Approximately two minutes later the flight reported its position as over South Brownsville, approximately 27 miles north of Morgantown, at 2500 feet sea level. The pilot at this time was informed of a special Morgantown weather report which indicated a ceiling of 1000 feet and visibility of 1 mile. He was also informed that the Morgantown weather was at the minimum and that it was OK try and land. The captain acknowledged the message and replied that he would "take a look" and advise. Then at 16:56, 15 minutes after take-off, the pilot was given the Morgantown weather and local traffic information. This was the last contract with the flight.
Beyond South Brownsville the aircraft encountered a continually lowering ceiling and proceeded at or through the irregular base of the cloud deck. Several witnesses observed the aircraft alternately in and out of the ragged overcast over a distance of approximately 20 miles and over the higher terrain east of the regular course. At 16:58 the aircraft crashed near the top of a ridge on the west side of Cheat Mountain at an elevation of about 2100 feet. When the airplane crashed it was seven miles off course and two miles off the airway.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The action of the pilot in continuing flight over mountains terrain under instrument conditions at an altitude below the minimum authorized instrument altitude."
» CAB File No. 874-45