NTSB preliminary reports do not draw conclusions as the cause of a crash.  But the NTSB’s preliminary report of the Turbine Otter crash that killed 9 near Ketchikan on June 25 suggests a weather-related “CFIT” crash, exactly as described here.

First, the report indicates that the flight was conducted under Visual Flight Rules.  That means

The pilot of the Otter that crashed in Alaska on Monday, killing Senator Stevens and three other passengers, encountered some very bad weather.  Low ceilings.  Fog and rain.  Gusty winds.

Rugged terrain only complicated things.  Fortunately, the pilot had tons of experience  — tens of thousands of hours.  According to the Alaska Dispatch, had any less talented pilot