NTSB Identification: ATL94FA076.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 07, 1994 in ELIZABETHTON, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/07/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-31-350, registration: N64LB
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 ATP AND HIS PASSENGER WERE EN ROUTE TO PICK UP A PATIENT FOR TRANSPORT TO A VA HOSPITAL. THE DESTINATION AIRPORT WAS UNCONTROLLED, AND VFR ONLY. THE PILOT CANCELLED WITH ATC AND REPORTED THE FIELD IN SIGHT. THE AIRPORT WAS REPORTING VFR CONDITIONS, BUT RISING, MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN EXISTED TO THE NORTHEAST, AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES REPORTED THAT THE TOP THIRD OF THE MOUNTAIN WAS OBSCURED IN CLOUDS DURING THE MORNING OF THE ACCIDENT. AFTER CANCELLING IFR, NO SUBSEQUENT RADIO CALLS WERE RECEIVED FROM THE FLIGHT, AND THE FLIGHT DID NOT ARRIVE AT ITS DESTINATION. THE WRECKAGE WAS FOUND SEVERAL HOURS LATER NEAR THE CREST OF HOLSTON MOUNTAIN, 1/2 MILE EAST OF THE HOLSTON MTN VOR. AN EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE INDICATED THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED UPSLOPING, WOODED TERRAIN, WHILE AT A CLIMB ANGLE OF 8 DEGREES. DISINTEGRATION OF THE WRECKAGE WAS INDICATIVE OF A HIGH SPEED IMPACT. NO EVIDENCE OF MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION OR FAILURE WAS FOUND DURING THE EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE.

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

THE PILOT'S ATTEMPTED VFR FLIGHT INTO IMC CONDITIONS, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN A PROPER ALTITUDE OVER MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. FACTORS WERE THE CLOUDS AND OBSCURATION AT THE ACCIDENT SITE.

Full narrative available

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