The Cessna 210 hit trees near Wantage, N.J., about an hour into a night cross-country flight. The pilot died in the crash.
The weather was clear, with nearly a full moon and unrestricted visibility.
The airplane was not reported overdue, but air traffic control began receiving reports of an emergency locator transmitter shortly after the accident.
The wreckage was subsequently located three days later in a wooded area about six miles north of an airport.
Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions.
While buying fuel prior to the flight, the pilot stated that he would be away for a week, but did not specify a destination.
Autopsy and toxicological testing did not reveal any medical anomalies that would have affected the pilot’s performance.
It was unlikely that the pilot became incapacitated as the airplane’s track was consistent with control inputs during the final descent.
Probable cause: A collision with terrain for reasons that could not be determined.
NTSB Identification: ERA16FA189
This May 2016 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.