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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 206936
Last updated: 12 September 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 172S Skyhawk
Owner/operator:Middle River Aviation Llc
Registration: N615JA
C/n / msn: 172S10554
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:At sea off Assateague State Park, Worcester County, MD -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Baltimore, MD (MTN)
Destination airport:Ocean City, MD (OXB)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The non-instrument-rated private pilot rented the airplane on the day of the accident for a night visual flight rules cross-country flight in visual meteorological conditions. A review of radar track data showed that the airplane initiated a descent from 3,500 ft mean sea level (msl) about 15 nautical miles (nm) from the destination airport; the last recorded radar track data showed the airplane at an altitude of 1,350 ft msl about 3 nm from the destination airport.

The airplane was reported missing the following morning, and an oil slick was subsequently discovered about 2 miles from the end of the runway at the destination airport. Divers located the wreckage; however, it was not recovered, and an examination of the airplane could not be performed.

Sun and moon data revealed that the moon was 98% illuminated about 45 degrees above the horizon to the east about the time of the accident; however, overcast clouds would have obscured its illumination.

The dark night conditions combined with a an approach to the airport over water would have increased the difficulty associated with the tasks of maintaining aircraft attitude control and maintaining awareness of the airplane's height above the water while maneuvering to land. It is likely that the pilot either lost control due to spatial disorientation or inadvertently descended into the water; however, without track information from the final moments of the flight, there is insufficient information from which to determine which scenario was more likely involved in the accident.

Probable Cause: The pilot's flight in dark night visual meteorological conditions, which resulted in an impact with water for reasons that could not be determined based on the available information.



FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 2 months
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

01-Mar-2018 21:30 Iceman 29 Added
01-Mar-2018 21:36 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code, Damage, Narrative]
01-Mar-2018 23:21 Geno Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code]
02-Mar-2018 04:12 Geno Updated [Total fatalities, Source, Damage, Narrative]
02-Mar-2018 15:06 Iceman 29 Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
03-Mar-2018 12:05 Iceman 29 Updated [Total fatalities, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Photo, ]
19-Mar-2018 11:42 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
22-May-2020 09:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Accident report, ]

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