NTSB Identification: SEA95FA101.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, May 16, 1995 in CHEYENNE, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/03/1996
Aircraft: PIPER PA-34-200T, registration: N2883D
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 contacted Cheyenne approach control at dusk and reported he was 24 miles north of the airport for landing. He was advised '...there is a thunderstorm in the vicinity of the airport north through northeast moving north occasional lightning cloud to ground and a previous aircraft reported severe turbulence.' The pilot acknowledged, then there was no further communication with the aircraft. It was subsequently reported as missing. Personnel responding to an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal reported an extremely low ceiling. The aircraft wreckage was found the next morning about 15 miles north of Cheyenne Airport. Investigation revealed the airplane had impacted gently rising terrain. Wreckage was oriented in a 610' long pattern on a southeasterly heading. Slash marks from both propellers were found, beginning at the initial ground impact point. No preimpact malfunction of the airplane was found. Samples taken from the pilot's remains tested positive for three over-the-counter medications, one of which is not approved for use while flying an airplane; however, the concentrations were so low that they were not quantified.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: failure of the pilot to maintain sufficient altitude/clearance from rising terrain. Factors relating to the accident were: low light conditions at dusk, low ceilings with thunderstorms in the area, and continued flight by the pilot into adverse weather conditions. Full narrative available
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