NTSB Identification: MIA95FA145.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 07, 1995 in GAINESVILLE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/15/1996
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-260, registration: N41481
Injuries: 6 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 FLIGHT WAS OPERATING UNDER VISUAL FLIGHT RULES, AND THE PILOT WAS NOT INSTRUMENT RATED. WHILE EN ROUTE, THE PILOT WAS ADVISED AT 2332 BY JACKSONVILLE CENTER THAT ANOTHER FLIGHT HAD TO FLY AN ILS APPROACH AT GAINESVILLE (GNV) DUE TO LOW VISIBILITY. AT 0008, THE PILOT REPORTED TO THE GNV FLIGHT SERVICE STATION (FSS) THAT SHE HAD THE RUNWAY LIGHTS. THE FLIGHT CIRCLED THE AIRPORT AND PROCEEDED NORTHEAST. THE FLIGHT WAS LAST SEEN ON RADAR 3 MILES NORTHEAST OF THE AIRPORT AT 1,300 FEET. THE WRECKAGE WAS FOUND 5 MILES NORTHEAST. THE AIRCRAFT HAD CRASHED INTO THE GROUND LEFT WING FIRST IN A NEAR 90-DEGREE BANK WHILE ON A 180-DEGREE HEADING. A WEATHER OBSERVATION TAKEN 20 MINUTES BEFORE THE ACCIDENT INDICATED THAT THE AIRPORT WAS IFR DUE TO A 600-FOOT BROKEN CEILING. THE WEATHER OBSERVER DID NOT TELL THE GNV FSS IN-FLIGHT SPECIALIST OR JACKSONVILLE CENTER CONTROLLER THAT THE AIRPORT WAS IFR. THE PILOT WAS ALSO NOT TOLD OF THIS WEATHER REPORT. A SHIFT CHANGE OCCURRED AS THE FLIGHT ARRIVED AT GNV, AND THE RELIEF FSS IN-FLIGHT SPECIALIST DID NOT GET BRIEFED NOR DID HE CHECK THE WEATHER. THE RELIEF SPECIALIST ALSO DID NOT KNOW THAT THE AIRPORT WAS IFR BEFORE TALKING TO THE FLIGHT.

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

THE PILOT'S LOSS OF AIRCRAFT CONTROL DUE TO SPATIAL DISORIENTATION AFTER CONTINUING THE VFR FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS. FACTORS RELATING TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE EXISTING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND DARK NIGHT THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE PILOT'S SPATIAL DISORIENTATION, THE FAILURE OF THE FSS WEATHER OBSERVER TO INFORM THE IN-FLIGHT SPECIALIST AND CENTER CONTROLLER THAT THE AIRPORT WAS UNDER IFR CONDITIONS, AND THE FAILURE OF THE FSS RELIEF IN-FLIGHT SPECIALIST TO MAKE HIMSELF AWARE OF THE CURRENT OFFICIAL WEATHER OBSERVATIONS AND TO THEN INFORM THE PILOT.

Full narrative available

Index for Jun1995 | Index of months