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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 43892
Last updated: 18 November 2019
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Date:02-JAN-2007
Time:20:35
Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 172H
Owner/operator:Joe Smith Farms Inc.
Registration: N3940R
C/n / msn: 17255440
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Armstrong, TX -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Weslaco, TX (T65)
Destination airport:Jacksonville, TX (JSO)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
"THIS CASE WAS MODIFIED ON 1/31/2008."

The non-instrument rated private pilot inadvertently entered clouds while attempting a night cross-country in marginal night visual meteorological conditions. While maneuvering to maintain visual flight rules, the pilot entered the clouds and consequently lost control of the airplane. The airplane impacted the ground in a right turn in a pronounced nose-low attitude. The area of the accident is sparsely populated and there were no reported eyewitnesses to the accident. A pilot flying in the vicinity of the accident pilot reported several cloud layers between 1,500 and 6,000 feet mean sea level. The airplane was configured with the flaps retracted. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any anomalies or pre-impact defects. The pilot had no actual instrument time and was not prepared to enter instrument meteorological conditions. Toxicology testing detected ethanol and citalopram in tissue samples. The ethanol detected is most likely a result of post-mortem ethanol production. It could not be determined if the use of citalopram (a prescription antidepressant also used for certain anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder) or the undetermined condition for which it was prescribed were contributory to the accident, although the use of citalopram by pilots is considered disqualifying by the FAA.
Probable Cause: The pilot's continued flight into adverse weather conditions resulting in a loss of control. Contributing factors were the dark night conditions, the clouds. low ceilings, and the pilot's limited night and instrument experience.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20070109X00022&key=1


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
04-Dec-2017 18:27 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]

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