Narrative:A Cessna 208B Cargomaster, N1120N, crashed shortly after takeoff from Pellston Regional Airport, MI (PLN). It came down in a wooded area, killing the pilot.
The pilot had flown from Sault Ste. Marie-Chippewa County Airport, MI (CIU) and landed at Pellston to refuel the airplane and pick up 570 pounds of cargo. After the airplane was refueled and the cargo was loaded, the pilot taxied to runway 23 and departed. The airplane entered a right bank almost immediately after takeoff, and climbed to an altitude of about 260 feet above ground level (AGL) before it began to descend. The airplane impacted trees and came to rest in a heavily wooded area.
There was no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Also, the
The automatic weather observations at Pellston Airport about the time of the accident (about 22:00 LT / 02:00 UTC] were:
[22:54 LT: ]
Probable Cause:PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's inadvertent controlled descent into terrain due to spatial disorientation. Contributing to the accident was lack of visual reference due to night conditions."
METAR Weather report:
01:54 UTC / 21:54 local time: KPLN 160154Z AUTO 21012G17KT 10SM OVC050 M03/M08 A3010 RMK AO2 SLP207 T10331083
02:54 UTC / 22:54 local time: KPLN 160254Z AUTO 18007KT 10SM OVC050 M03/M08 A3007 RMK AO2 SLP199 T10331083 58022
Wind 180 degrees at 7 knots; Visibility: 10 or more miles; overcast cloud deck at 5000 feet AGL; Temperature: -3°C; Dewpoint: -8°C; Pressure 1018.4 mb
23:54 UTC / 20:54 local time: KPLN 152354Z AUTO 21010G16KT 10SM BKN036 BKN048 OVC055 M03/M09 A3014 RMK AO2 SNE2257 SLP223 P0000 60000
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Pellston Regional Airport, MI to Lansing-Capital City Airport, MI as the crow flies is 309 km (193 miles).