NTSB Identification: SEA94FA106.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Sunday, April 24, 1994 in KELLOGG, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/01/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-260, registration: N7659C
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.

WHILE EN ROUTE ON A VFR FLIGHT PLAN, THE PILOT CONTACTED SEATTLE ARTCC & OBTAINED AN IFR CLEARANCE. SUBSEQUENTLY, HE REQUESTED & WAS CLEARED TO CLIMB TO 15,000' MSL. DURING THE CLIMB, ARTCC TEMPORARILY LOST RADAR CONTACT WITH THE PLANE & ASKED THE PILOT TO REPORT AT 15,000', WHICH HE DID AT 1329 PDT. ABOUT 1 MINUTE LATER, THE PILOT SAID HE LOST 'GYRO SUCTION' & WOULD BE USING 'PARTIAL PANEL.' ALSO, HE REPORTED THERE WAS STILL SOME IMC CONDITIONS, THAT HE WAS IN & OUT OF CLOUDS & THAT HE HAD ENCOUNTERED SOME LIGHT RIME ICING CONDITIONS. SOON THEREAFTER, ARTCC LOST RADIO & RADAR CONTACT WITH THE AIRPLANE. A WITNESS HEARD THE SOUND OF THE ENGINE REVVING JUST BEFORE THE PLANE CRASHED. AN EXAM OF THE WRECKAGE REVEALED THE WINGS & EMPENNAGE HAD SEPARATED IN FLIGHT. THERE WAS EVIDENCE THE WINGS HAD FAILED DOWNWARD. THE FUSELAGE SKIN FORWARD OF THE EMPENNAGE WAS RIPPED & TORN WITH NUMEROUS RIVETS TORN THROUGH THE SEAMS. A CHECK OF THE VACUUM PUMP REVEALED EVIDENCE OF SEIZURE AFTER LONG-TERM ENGINE OIL CONTAMINATION & WEAR.

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

FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN AIRCRAFT CONTROL, DUE TO SPATIAL DISORIENTATION, WHILE FLYING WITH PARTIAL PANEL, AND THE DESIGN STRESS LIMITS OF THE AIRCRAFT BEING EXCEEDED. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: FAILURE OF THE VACUUM SYSTEM, WHICH RESULTED IN AN INOPERATIVE ATTITUDE INDICATOR, AND THE ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS.

Full narrative available

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