The non-instrument rated pilot departed on a cross-country flight. When the Cessna 210 was reported overdue by family members, a search was initiated, and the airplane wreckage was located about three miles from a regional airport in Bay City, Wis. The pilot died in the crash.
Witnesses reported seeing an airplane maneuvering near the airport about the time of the accident; one witness reported it was in a steep bank.
That witness reported the weather as “murky” with a low overcast sky and an estimated visibility of three miles; another witness reported there was a light breeze and drizzle.
The automated weather reporting station at the airport recorded a 900-foot overcast ceiling and five miles visibility in mist.
Additionally, weather reports and forecasts along the route of flight included overcast clouds and instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions.
There was no record of the pilot obtaining a weather briefing for the flight.
It is likely that the pilot entered IFR conditions on approach to the airport, was unable to maintain visual references, and subsequently lost control of the airplane.
The National Transportation Safety Board determined the probable cause of this accident as the non-instrument rated pilot’s continued visual flight into instrument flight rules conditions, which resulted in an in-flight loss of control.
NTSB Identification: CEN15FA027
This October 2014 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.