Aircraft: Cessna 182. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Mescalero, N.M. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The air traffic controller advised the pilot of an area of light precipitation 15 miles ahead at his 12 o’clock position, about 10 miles in diameter, and extending about 10 miles along his flight path.
Shortly thereafter, the non-instrument-rated pilot said he was turning around due to the poor visibility. A few minutes later he reported that he was making another attempt to penetrate the weather and would consider landing at an alternate airport if he was unable to get through.
His last radio transmission acknowledged the controller’s advisement that radar services were terminated and the instruction to change to an advisory frequency.
The wreckage was located four days later. GPS information indicated that the airplane was in a right spiral at a ground speed of 207 knots when it hit the ground. The recovered airspeed indicator faceplate bore a “slap mark” at 150 knots.
Probable cause: The pilot’s intentional attempt to fly into adverse weather, which resulted in an in-flight loss of control.
NTSB Identification: CEN12FA090
This November 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.