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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 144183
Last updated: 17 March 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic COL3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 350 Corvalis (LC42-550FG)
Registration: N167ZP
C/n / msn: 421009
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:High Rock Lake, Rowan County, NC -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Lexington, NC (EXX)
Destination airport:Venice, FL (VNC)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Before the airplane departed on a continuing cross-country flight, a lineman at the airport spoke to the pilot and mentioned the marginal nature of the weather. The pilot responded that he was going to stay below 1,900 feet and that he should be fine. The lineman recalled looking at the automated weather observing system monitor, and it was reporting 1,800-foot ceilings and 10 miles visibility locally. Witnesses reported that the airplane’s takeoff and departure were normal. The lineman stated that the weather at the time was visual flight rules with light rain. The airplane was not captured on radar, and the pilot was not in radio contact with air traffic control. According to witnesses near the accident site, they heard the airplane flying overhead but did not see it due to heavy fog. One witness reported that shortly after hearing the aircraft overhead, he heard a loud splash in a nearby lake and, as he turned toward the lake, he saw a large spray of water. Shortly thereafter, a large amount of debris was observed in the water. About 30 minutes elapsed between the time the airplane took off and when it impacted the lake.

The airplane was recovered from the lake and exhibited severe fragmentation, consistent with a steep, high-speed descent and impact. A postaccident examination of the airplane and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Based on the weather conditions reported by weather-observing equipment and witnesses, the pilot encountered instrument meteorological conditions. The steep, high-speed impact is consistent with an uncontrolled descent due to the pilot’s spatial disorientation.

Probable Cause: The non-instrument-rated pilot's decision to continue flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in spatial disorientation and a loss of control.



Revision history:

02-Mar-2012 21:29 Geno Added
02-Mar-2012 21:32 Geno Updated [Aircraft type]
02-Mar-2012 21:33 Geno Updated [Narrative]
03-Mar-2012 01:17 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Phase, Nature, Source, Damage, Narrative]
03-Mar-2012 01:19 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Source]
03-Mar-2012 12:55 harro Updated [[Aircraft type, Source]]
04-Mar-2012 03:05 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
16-Mar-2012 15:44 Geno Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 20:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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