Date & Time: Apr 20, 1982 at 0923 LT
Registration:
N165MA
Flight Phase:
Flight
Flight Type:
Executive
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Chattanooga - Fort Payne
MSN:
541
YOM:
1971
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
2
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
4
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
6
Captain / Total flying hours:
6313
Captain / Total hours on type:
260
Aircraft flight hours:
3263
Circumstances:
During the weather briefing the pilot was advised that VFR flight was not recommended due to low ceilings and poor visibility. The pilot responded he had to go to Fort Payne VFR because they have no instrument approach. A Jeppesen US (lo) 29 low alt enroute chart was found at the wreckage that had a line drawn traversing southwest out of the Chattanooga VOR between V-115 and V-115e. The MEA for these airways was 4,000 ft msl. Prior to departure the pilot as advised that tops were reported 4,500 ft with another layer at 9,000 ft. The pilot responded he was going to Fort Payne and they had no approach there. Approximately 2-1/2 min after takeoff the pilot reported "...looks like about 1500 is all we're gonna get right now." About 7 min later the pilot reported they were still VFR but might want to turn around. The aircraft impacted the top of a north/south ridge line at an elevation of 2,020 feet. The copilot was part of the company's management team. A passenger was seriously injured while six other occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
Occurrence #1: in flight collision with terrain/water
Phase of operation: cruise
Findings
1. (f) preflight planning/preparation - inaccurate - pilot in command
2. (f) weather condition - haze/smoke
3. (f) weather condition - low ceiling
4. (f) weather evaluation - misjudged - pilot in command
5. (c) flight into known adverse weather - continued - pilot in command
6. (f) company-induced pressure - company/operator management
7. (f) terrain condition - mountainous/hilly
8. (c) proper altitude - not maintained - pilot in command
Final Report:
N165MA.pdf87.79 KB