Aircraft: Bellanca 7GCBC. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Imperial, Neb. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The accident happened around sunrise. The airplane was flying to the east toward rising terrain consisting of rolling hills and valleys. The Bellanca failed to clear the terrain, hitting a hill about 10 feet below its crest. The airplane then crashed and burned.
The post-accident examination of the airplane and its systems did not reveal any mechanical issues that led to the crash.
Investigators determined that it was likely that the pilot was blinded by the sun and did not see the rising terrain.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate clearance from rising terrain while flying toward the rising sun, which interfered with his ability to see the terrain.
NTSB Identification: CEN12FA517
This August 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.