NTSB Identification: CHI94FA128.
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Accident occurred Monday, April 04, 1994 in ALLIANCE, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-250, registration: N5399Y
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 INSTRUMENT RATED PRIVATE PILOT WAS ON THE RETURN LEG OF HIS FIRST ACTUAL IFR FLIGHT, 3 DAYS AFTER COMPLETING HIS INSTRUMENT-AIRPLANE CHECKRIDE. HE HAD ACCUMULATED 2 HOURS OF ACTUAL IFR FLIGHT TIME PRIOR TO THIS FLIGHT. THE EXAMINER, WHO HAD FAILED HIM ON HIS INITIAL CHECKFLIGHT 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO THE SUCCESSFUL CHECK, STATED THAT THE APPLICANT TENDED TO GET OVERLOADED BY COMMUNICATIONS IN ADDITION TO NAVIGATION AND AIRCRAFT CONTROL. WEATHER AT THE DESTINATION WAS BETWEEN 500-1 AND 400-1/2 IN BLOWING SNOW, WITH WINDS GUSTING TO 30 KNOTS. APPROACH MINIMUMS WERE 500-1. COMMUNICATIONS WITH ARTCC WERE DIFFICULT THROUGHOUT THE FLIGHT. THE RADAR TRACK WAS CIRCUITOUS, DID NOT FOLLOW THE PUBLISHED APPROACH OR MISSED APPROACH, AND DEPICTED A DESCENDING SPIRAL FOR THE FINAL 3 MINUTES OF THE FLIGHT. DURING THESE TURNS, THE PILOT STATED HE WAS PROCEEDING TO HIS ALTERNATE. THE FLAP ACTUATOR WAS FOUND IN THE FULLY EXTENDED POSITION. NO DISCREPANCIES WERE NOTED IN THE FLIGHT INSTRUMENTS, PITOT-STATIC SYSTEM, OR ENGINES.

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

THE PILOT'S SPATIAL DISORIENTATION AND INADVERTANT ENTRY INTO A SPIRAL DIVE. FACTORS WERE THE PILOT'S LACK OF TOTAL INSTRUMENT EXPERIENCE AND THE WEATHER CONDITIONS OF BLOWING SNOW AND TURBULENCE.

Full narrative available

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