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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 150769
Last updated: 18 October 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 172K Skyhawk
Registration: N78304
C/n / msn: 17257561
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:A marsh near the Jones River, Chatham County -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Liberty, NC (2A5)
Destination airport:Savannah, GA (SAV)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot was attempting an instrument landing system approach to a northbound runway in night, instrument meteorological conditions. The air traffic controller issued a series of radar vectors to the pilot to guide him to the localizer course. However, after the controller cleared the pilot to intercept the localizer, the airplane instead continued across the localizer course. The pilot initiated a 270-degree turn to the south, crossed the localizer course, and then turned back toward the localizer course again. The controller observed that the airplane was in a descent and queried the pilot on his altitude. The pilot replied that he was "…trying to recover." Radio and radar contact were then lost and search and rescue operations were initiated.

The airplane was located in a salt marsh south of the destination airport and appeared to have been in a right, descending spiral when it impacted the marshy terrain. The wreckage was extremely fragmented. An examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of a preimpact mechanical anomaly or failure that would have precluded normal operation. Propeller signatures indicated high engine power at impact.

The pilot received his instrument rating about 6 months before the accident, at which time he reported about 189 hours of total flight time, including about 43 hours of instrument and 21 hours of night pilot-in-command flight time. Based on the night, instrument meteorological conditions, the pilot's actions and responses during the flight, and examination of the wreckage, it is likely that the pilot experienced spatial disorientation and lost control of the airplane.
Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control while operating in night, instrument meteorological conditions, due to spatial disorientation.



Revision history:

19-Nov-2012 13:50 gerard57 Added
19-Nov-2012 17:59 Geno Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
20-Nov-2012 02:19 Alpine Flight Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
20-Nov-2012 11:17 Anon. Updated [Destination airport]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
28-Nov-2017 13:55 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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