This March 2009 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: 3 Fatal. Location: Carrollton, Ga. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The pilot had logged 168 hours, including about 70 hours as pilot-in-command, and 3.2 hours logged of simulated instrument time. He did not have any time in actual meteorological conditions or an instrument rating.
The pilot and two passengers departed under visual meteorological conditions. A witness near the accident site stated she heard a high-speed sound followed by a “thud.” She noticed water splashing up from a lake, which was followed by silence. The airplane was located at a depth of approximately 16 feet and heavily fragmented, consistent with a high speed impact.
Subsequent examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any pre-impact abnormalities. The pilot did not obtain a weather briefing prior to the flight. Witnesses near the accident site described the weather conditions at the time of the accident as foggy with low clouds.
Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to continue visual flight rules flight into an area of reduced visibility weather conditions, which resulted in disorientation and subsequent loss of aircraft control.
For more information: NTSB.gov