Anti-authority attitude kills two

Aircraft: Cessna 150. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Baraboo, Wis. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The non-instrument-rated student pilot departed on a 108-nautical-mile cross-country flight. He did not have an instructor’s endorsement to conduct the cross-country flight and was carrying a passenger, contrary to regulations.

He had only accumulated 0.5 hours of simulated instrument training. The weather at departure was reported as a few clouds at 8,000 feet above ground level AGL and 10 miles of visibility. The weather near the destination airport was reporting instrument meteorological conditions with four miles of visibility and an overcast ceiling at 700 feet AGL. There was no record that the pilot had obtained a weather briefing prior to the flight.

The radar track of the accident flight contained several course and altitude changes. During the last 15 miles, the flight path was jagged and culminated in a right turn with the airplane completing about 1-1/2 turns before the end of the data. The last radar position was about 0.57 miles from the accident site and about 1,600 feet AGL.

Probable cause: The student pilot’s inadequate preflight planning and his decision to continue the flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in a subsequent loss of airplane control.

NTSB Identification: CEN11FA240

This March 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.


  1. Mark C says

    55 hour pilot, probably ready for a checkride, just couldn’t wait until after he got his ticket to start enjoying his airplane. He and his wife (the passenger) lived near the accident site and kept their plane at the destination airport, so once again we have a case of get-home-itis, probably with the added pressure of wanting to get the plane back in the hangar before anyone questioned the illegal flight. Keeping it quiet was also probably why he didn’t call for weather, we’ll never know if he checked internet weather or not. Flying is very safe, because the system is set up to make it safe. Screwing around and cheating the system is very dangerous.

  2. RudyH says

    Not enough info in the NTSB to determine if the Naproxen this dead pilot was on gave him the drowsies as side effect….somethin’ sure affected judgment on this one to attempt this.

  3. Paul Ramsay says

    I just earned my ticket and deployed the day after. After 9 months of being out of the pilots seat, you had better believe that I’ll have an instructor with me the first couple of flights I take when I get back to the states! I would much rather have an instructor with me to help me smooth out the rough edges before I take someone else up with me!

  4. Tom says

    The flight school where I earned my ticket had a student take up a girlfriend, showing off I assume. The results were not as bad, with only a destroyed airplane and minor injuries.

    To current students: I understand that you want to show off that you can fly, but do it after you pass the check ride. I love flying, and I would like for all students to enjoy it for nice, long lives. Someone once said to me that flying is actually very safe, but the consequences of a mistake are harsh. It has also been my experience that people are much more respectful of your skills if you do the proper pre-flight checks, and end up canceling due to weather or problems rather than bulling through and getting into trouble. Your non-pilot passengers trust you to make the flight as safe as can be. They don’t know federal rules and regs, and they don’t know when to decline a flight. By all means, spread the word about the joys of aviation, but be safe about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *