VFR into IMC kills two

Aircraft: Cessna 210. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Morgan, Utah. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: There was no record of the non-instrument pilot obtaining a weather briefing prior to departure into mountainous terrain. Weather information at the time of the flight reported mountain obscuration and precipitation.

The pilot took off to pick up a passenger. After picking up the passenger and departing that airport, the pilot requested and received a flight-following clearance. Shortly after, he reported that he was going to turn the airplane out of a valley.

There was no further communication from the pilot. The last radar target depicted the airplane at an altitude of 7,100 feet MSL.

The wreckage was located 3.5 miles from the last radar target in forested, mountainous terrain at an elevation of 7,700 feet.

The post-accident examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Investigators determined that given the forecast and reported weather conditions, it is likely the pilot encountered instrument meteorological conditions and was unable to see the trees and terrain prior to the collision.

Probable cause: The non-instrument-rated pilot’s poor planning and continued visual flight rules flight into instrument meteorological conditions and failure to maintain clearance from mountainous terrain.

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA098

This February 2012 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. Robert Stambovsky, ATP says

    These little airplanes are not designed nor are they capable of hard IFR flight or mountain flying. In this case (as in approximately 76 %), the pilot did not comply with FAR 91, and took a pax with him.
    ” you are preaching to the choir, or a hunk on concrete”.

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