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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 192293
Last updated: 15 October 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C182 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 182H Skylane
Registration: N1839X
MSN: 18255939
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Bearpen Hollow Branch, Sevier County, TN -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Keystone Heights, FL (42J)
Destination airport:Gatlinburg, TN (GKT)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The non-instrument-rated private pilot elected to conduct the cross-country flight over mountainous terrain without obtaining a weather briefing or filing a flight plan. As he approached his destination, the pilot requested a descent from his cruising altitude of 9,500 ft mean sea level (msl), which was approved by air traffic control. The controller instructed the pilot to maintain visual flight rules flight throughout his descent. Instead, the pilot descended the airplane into a cloud layer between 7,000 ft msl to 5,000 ft msl despite his instructions from air traffic control. Radar data and satellite weather imagery depicted the airplane in a steady-state descent inside a solid cloud layer which tracked north, directly toward the destination airport. The radar track ended at 5,400 ft. msl abeam a mountain peak at 6,500 feet elevation. The accident site was located at 5,400 ft in steep, mountainous terrain about 15 miles south of the destination airport at the same position as the last radar target.

Examination of the wreckage revealed no pre-impact mechanical anomalies and signatures consistent with controlled flight into terrain.

The pilot had a history of disregard for established rules and regulations. The pilot's medical certificate was expired, and his airplane was about 2 months overdue for an annual inspection. He was counseled numerous times by an experienced flight instructor about his unsafe practice of operating the airplane in instrument meteorological conditions without an instrument rating, but he continued to do so over a period of 2 years and again on the accident flight. His contempt for rules and regulations was consistent with an anti-authority attitude, which is hazardous to safe operation of aircraft.
The pilot had used the potentially-impairing stimulant phentermine at some time before the flight, but the samples available for testing were inadequate to quantify impairment. Therefore, it could not be determined if the pilot's use of phentermine contributed to this accident.

Probable Cause: The non-instrument-rated pilot's intentional visual flight rules flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's established anti-authority attitude.


FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 3 months
Download report: Final report


Photo: FAA

Revision history:

27-Dec-2016 10:43 gerard57 Added
27-Dec-2016 18:18 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Location, Departure airport, Source]
27-Dec-2016 18:23 Geno Updated [Total fatalities, Location, Phase, Destination airport, Source]
27-Dec-2016 19:19 gerard57 Updated [Damage]
28-Dec-2016 00:53 Geno Updated [Location, Source]
28-Dec-2016 14:27 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Phase, Source, Narrative]
21-Mar-2018 14:57 harro Updated [Photo, ]
22-Apr-2018 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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