NTSB Identification: ATL94FA075.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 06, 1994 in SMITHVILLE, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32RT-300, registration: N9710C
Injuries: 1 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.

PRIOR TO DEPARTING NASHVILLE, THE PILOT RECEIVED WEATHER INFORMATION FROM A COMMERCIAL WEATHER SERVICE AT FLIGHT OPERATIONS. THE CONTENT OF THIS BRIEFING COULD NOT BE OBTAINED. LATER, AT 1839, HE CALLED NASHVILLE AFSS FOR A WEATHER UPDATE. THE FLIGHT DEPARTED NASHVILLE FOR KNOXVILLE AT 2000. AT 2205, THE FLIGHT DEPARTED KNOXVILLE FOR THE RETURN TRIP TO NASHVILLE. THERE IS NO RECORD OF ANY WEATHER BRIEFINGS SUBSEQUENT TO THE 1839 UPDATE. AT 2238, THE PILOT REPORTED PICKING UP LIGHT ICE. FOR THE NEXT 10 MIN HE CONTINUED TO REQUEST LOWER ALTITUDES UNTIL HE WAS LOST FROM RADAR. ACCORDING TO FORMER PILOTS OF THE OPERATOR, PILOTS WERE ROUTINELY THREATENED WITH PUNITIVE ACTION FOR REFUSING TO FLY IN QUESTIONABLE WEATHER CONDITIONS, OR TO FLY AIRCRAFT WITH QUESTIONABLE AIRWORTHINESS CONDITIONS.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO OBTAIN RECENT WEATHER INFORMATION TO AVOID FLIGHT INTO ICING CONDITIONS. FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT WERE: MANAGEMENT-INDUCED PRESSURE AND THE ICING CONDITIONS.

Full narrative available

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