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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 150961
Last updated: 5 December 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP
Registration: N3554Y
C/n / msn: 172S8956
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:En route from Maui to Molokai, HI -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Kahului, HI (OGG)
Destination airport:Kaunakakai, HI (MKK)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The noninstrument-rated pilot was conducting a personal interisland flight. According to air traffic control information, shortly after the airplane took off, an air traffic controller observed that the airplaneís radar track was not heading toward the pilotís intended destination. He asked the pilot if he still intended to land at his original destination, and the pilot replied that he did. The pilot then reported that he was going to perform a 360-degree turn to track toward his intended destination. However, the airplaneís radar track showed that the airplane then made a descending left turn. Subsequently, radio and radar contact with the pilot and airplane, respectively, were lost, and†a search and rescue mission was initiated. Parts of the airplane were located, but the pilot and the majority of the airplane were not found. During the flight, the pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Dark (moonless) night conditions prevailed for the flight. Weather information did not reveal the presence of any aviation weather hazards. The data did identify the potential for broken cloud layers below 3,000 ft mean sea level in the area at the time of the accident. Further, weather radar imagery identified light rain showers at ground level. The pilotís intended flightpath likely would have taken the airplane through or very close to the area of light rain; however, it could not be determined how long the pilot might have operated the airplane in these conditions. It is†likely that the pilot became spatially disoriented after flying over the ocean during dark night conditions with reduced visibility and subsequently failed to maintain airplane control.

Probable Cause: The noninstrument-rated pilotís spatial disorientation and subsequent failure to maintain airplane control while operating over water in dark night conditions with reduced visibility due to rain in the area.


FAA register:

Revision history:

02-Dec-2012 08:28 Alpine Flight Added
02-Dec-2012 15:44 Geno Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Total occupants, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
03-Dec-2012 12:13 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
05-Dec-2012 12:16 gerard57 Updated [Source, Damage, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
28-Nov-2017 14:01 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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