This March 2008 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.
Aircraft: Cessna 180. Injuries: Two minor. Location: White Mountain, Alaska. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The weather at the time of departure was reported as a ceiling of about 3,000 feet and a visibility of 10 miles. The pilot, who held an airline transport rating, told investigators that the plane was in cruise flight at 2,500 feet MSL in VFR conditions over snow-covered mountainous terrain when visibility began to deteriorate. The pilot descended to about 2,000 feet MSL in an attempt to avoid the clouds, but flew into whiteout conditions. The airplane hit a mountain ridge.
Probable cause: The pilot’s continued VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions. Contributing to the accident were whiteout conditions, and snow-covered terrain.
For more information: NTSB.gov