ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 68295
Last updated: 15 December 2019
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 172
Registration: N5845A
C/n / msn: 28445
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Lake Russell, Abbeville County, SC -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:Maryville, TN (NONE)
Destination airport:Athens, GA (AHN)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The non-instrument rated pilot was conducting a personal cross-country visual flight rules flight and had not obtained a weather briefing. Two witnesses heard the airplane make several passes over their location. One of the witnesses reported that the engine was "making a pop pop sound intermittently," then it sounded like a lot of engine power was applied. They both reported that they had observed the airplane descending out of the "very low" overcast cloud layer between 70 and 90 degrees nose down attitude, with the wings level on a path directly toward them. The airplane veered away from their location, and then impacted into a lake approximately 75 feet from their location. Prior to impacting the water, one of the witnesses reported that several control surfaces appeared to be moving in the correct direction. These witnesses also reported that there had been rain just prior to the accident, and the overcast cloud layer was approximately 100 to 200 feet above tree top level, or about 300 feet above ground level. Neither the aircraft maintenance logbooks nor the pilot's flight logbooks were located. Given the lack of an instrument rating and the transition from visual meteorological conditions to instrument meteorological conditions, the pilot most likely misinterpreted the acceleration of the airplane as the nose of the airplane pitching up, and applied forward elevator control to counter. Examination of the wreckage revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions.
Probable Cause: The pilot's inadequate preflight planning and improper decision to continue flight into deteriorating weather conditions, which resulted in spatial disorientation after entering instrument flight conditions.



Revision history:

19-Sep-2009 23:26 Geno Added
20-Sep-2009 08:02 chullian1819 Updated
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
02-Dec-2017 16:17 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description