NTSB Identification: MIA95FA060.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Thursday, January 19, 1995 in YORK, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/13/1996
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-236, registration: N8423B
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.

BEFORE DEPARTURE, THE NONINSTRUMENT-RATED PILOT RECEIVED A WEATHER BRIEFING. HE WAS ADVISED THAT IFR CONDITIONS WERE FORECASTED ALONG THE ENTIRE ROUTE OF THE PROPOSED FLIGHT. THE PILOT FILED AN IFR FLIGHT PLAN, AND BEFORE DEPARTURE FROM THE UNCONTROLLED AIRPORT, OBTAINED HIS IFR CLEARANCE. THE FLIGHT DEPARTED (WITH A 500-FOOT CEILING REPORTED AT A NEARBY AIRPORT) AND CLIMBED TO ABOUT 3,300 FEET. RADAR DATA REVEALED THAT THE AIRPLANE DEVIATED FROM THE ASSIGNED HEADING, AND ITS ALTITUDE BEGAN DECREASING. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH TREES, AND THEN THE GROUND IN A NOSE-LOW ATTITUDE. THE COCKPIT AND CABIN WERE EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED BY IMPACT AND A POSTCRASH FIRE. NO PREIMPACT FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE AIRFRAME, ENGINE, OR VACUUM PUMP WAS FOUND. AN ALTERNATE VACUUM SYSTEM HAD BEEN INSTALLED. EXAMINATION OF COMPONENTS OF THE AUTOPILOT SYSTEM REVEALED NO INDICATION THAT IT HAD BEEN ENGAGED.

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

THE NONINSTRUMENT-RATED PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE AIRPLANE DUE TO SPATIAL DISORIENTATION WHILE CONDUCTING FLIGHT IN INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC). A FACTOR RELATING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO FOLLOW PROCEDURES/DIRECTIVES BY CONDUCTING FLIGHT IN IMC WHEN HE LACKED TRAINING/QUALIFICATION FOR FLIGHT IN INSTRUMENT CONDITIONS.

Full narrative available

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