NTSB Identification: NYC95FA127.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 29, 1995 in JEFFERSON TWP, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-181, registration: N8261L
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.

THE PILOT DEPARTED ON AN INSTRUMENT PROFICIENCY FLIGHT IN VISUAL METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS. THE FIRST 30 MINUTES OF THE FLIGHT, WHICH INCLUDED A PRACTICE APPROACH, MISSED APPROACH, AND RADIO COMMUNICATIONS, WERE NORMAL. DURING THE RETURN FLIGHT TO THE DEPARTURE AIRPORT, THE PILOT WAS ISSUED A DESCENT FROM 4,000 TO 3,000 FEET. THE PILOT'S ACKNOWLEDGEMENT WAS SLOW AND HESITANT. WITNESSES OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE IMPACT THE GROUND IN A DESCENDING LEFT BANK, AT A HIGH RATE OF AIRSPEED, WITH HIGH PITCHED ENGINE SOUNDS. EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE REVEALED NO PRE-IMPACT FAILURES OF THE ENGINE OR AIRFRAME. THE CLOUD LAYER IN THE AREA WAS ABOVE 3,000 FEET, AND THE VISIBILITY WAS 10 MILES. FAMILY MEMBERS AND CO-WORKERS REVEALED THAT THE PILOT WAS EMPLOYED AS A CONSTRUCTION SUPERVISOR, AND WAS ON ASSIGNMENT OUT OF STATE. THE PILOT WORKED 12 TO 14-HOUR DAYS, AND HAD BEEN COMMUTING HOME ON WEEKENDS. A C0-WORKER STATED THE PILOT REPORTED THAT HE HAD FALLEN ASLEEP IN TRAFFIC DURING THE DRIVE INTO WORK. THE PILOT'S DAUGHTER REPORTED THAT HER FATHER LOOKED TIRED 2 DAYS PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane which resulted in a collision with terrain during a descent.

Full narrative available

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