NTSB Identification: MIA99FA125.
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Accident occurred Monday, April 12, 1999 in HARDEEVILLE, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/26/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-16, registration: N5796H
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot transmitted that he was encountering 'pretty bad' clear air turbulence at his assigned altitude and requested a lower altitude from the military approach radar controller. The controller gave the pilot a turn because of conflicting traffic, and while in the turn the pilot transmitted that turbulence was now 'severe'. He made another garbled transmission that sounded as if he was saying, 'headed down' or 'going down'. He disappeared from the radar scope and the wreckage was found later, having impacted the ground on a tree preserve about 13 miles northeast of the Savannah VOR. No evidence of any precrash failure or malfunction could be found with the airplane's engine or airframe, or their components.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

An inflight loss of control for undetermined reasons while in a descent and the subsequent collision with the terrain.

Full narrative available

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