This August 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 182. Injuries: 4 Fatal. Location: Georgia Pass, Colo. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The instrument-rated pilot was traveling cross-country with three passengers after a family vacation. He had 1,576 hours, including 154 in actual instrument conditions, and 39.7 simulated instrument hours. Airplane rental records indicate the pilot had accumulated 71.1 hours in the accident airplane between February 2006 and Aug. 8, 2008. There was no evidence the pilot obtained a weather briefing prior to departure and he did not file a flight plan. An analysis conducted by an NTSB meteorology specialist determined that, at the time of departure, weather was marginal VFR with an overcast layer above and scattered clouds at and below the flown flight level. Weather near the accident site deteriorated rapidly after departure and the pilot likely encountered a level two thunderstorm. He lost control of the airplane and crashed.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control after inadvertently encountering instrument meteorological conditions.
For more information: NTSB.gov