NTSB Identification: BFO94FA163.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 14, 1994 in SEA ISLE CITY, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/13/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-601P, registration: N3642A
Injuries: 4 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 IN CRUISE FLIGHT IN A LEVEL SIX THUNDERSTORM OVER THE ATLANTIC OCEAN, THE PILOT REPORTED THE AIRPLANE'S 'GYRO' HAD FAILED. THE AIRPLANE THEN BEGAN A LEFT TURN AND DISAPPEARED OFF RADAR. THE AIRPLANE AND ITS OCCUPANTS WERE LOCATED ON THE OCEAN FLOOR ABOUT 48 DAYS AFTER THE ACCIDENT. THE AIRPLANE HAD BROKEN APART IN-FLIGHT. THE OUTBOARD SECTION OF EACH WING AND THE TAIL SECTION WERE NOT RECOVERED. THE AIRPLANE'S PNEUMATIC SYSTEM WAS DESTROYED. ACCORDING TO FSS RECORDS, THE PILOT HAD BEEN BRIEFED ON THE WEATHER ALONG HIS ROUTE OF FLIGHT.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control. Factors contributing to the accident were the presence of a level 6 thunderstorm, loss of gyro's for an undetermined reason, and the pilot's poor weather evaluation.

Full narrative available

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