NTSB Identification: CHI95FA326.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 16, 1995 in DANVILLE, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/17/1996
Aircraft: PIPER PA-38-112, registration: N118AT
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.

Witnesses reported observing the airplane flying at an estimated altitude of 500 feet. Two witnesses reported hearing the engine sound increase. One witness reported hearing the engine 'restart.' The airplane descended in a 'loose spiral.' The nose came up and it turned to the right then 'sharply to the left...into a steep tight spiral.' It impacted the terrain going 'straight down.' Examination of the wreckage revealed symmetric crushing of the leading edges corresponding to an impact angle of approximately 30 degrees nose down. Evaluation of radar data revealed the airplane slowed to an airspeed of 50 knots at an altitude of 2,500 feet mean sea level (MSL). The angle of attack increased to 8.59 degrees and the airplane began a rapid descent. The airplane was at 1,500 feet MSL with a vertical velocity of approximately -9,000 feet per minute when the last radar return was received. No evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction was found.

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

the pilot-in-command's inadequate recovery while maneuvering.

Full narrative available

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