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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 70339
Last updated: 6 August 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 172S
Owner/operator:Ramz Enterprises
Registration: N5269X
C/n / msn: 172S9185
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Lake Russell, east of Poinciana, Florida -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Kissimmee, FL (ISM)
Destination airport:Ft. Lauderdale, FL (FXE)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The non-instrument-rated pilot departed for a night cross-country flight while instrument meteorological conditions existed at the departure airport. The pilot requested and received from air traffic control a special visual flight rules (VFR) clearance. After departure, the airplane was observed on radar climbing to an altitude of 2,400 feet above mean sea level (msl). Approximately 1 minute prior to the last radar return, air traffic control cleared the accident flight "on course" and the clearance was acknowledged by the pilot. Subsequently, radar data indicated that the airplane began a 180-degree right turn and its altitude decreased from 2,400 feet msl to 0 feet msl in about 12 seconds. The last radar return was located in the immediate vicinity of the accident location.

The dark surface of the water in a relatively unlit area would have provided the pilot limited external visual reference and could have resulted in him becoming spatially disoriented or affected by a visual illusion. The pilot's logbook revealed that he had visited the departure airport several times prior to the accident. A postaccident examination of the airplane, structure, flight controls, engine, aircraft systems, and flight instruments revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions.
Probable Cause: The pilot's decision to depart under special VFR flight at night when instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the departure airport and along the route of flight and his continued VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in his spatial disorientation and subsequent loss of aircraft control.



Revision history:

08-Dec-2009 14:48 RobertMB Added
09-Dec-2009 12:00 slowkid Updated
11-Dec-2009 23:04 bravobravo Updated
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
02-Dec-2017 17:58 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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