NTSB Identification: ATL96FA010.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, October 31, 1995 in ISBELA SEGUNDA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/03/1996
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-250, registration: N250HP
Injuries: 4 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 aircraft was on a VFR maintenance test flight. After takeoff, about 200 feet MSL, witnesses noticed the forward baggage door open. The pilot reduced power and began maneuvering. The aircraft stalled, banked left, and dove into the ocean. A witness stated that he heard the power increase prior to the aircraft entering the water. A discrepancy on the locking mechanism of the forward baggage door had been written up on 8/31/95, and no corrective action had been noted. Examination of the wreckage revealed improper maintenance of the forward baggage door locking mechanism and lock attach points.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain control of the aircraft resulting in a stall. A factor was the mechanic's failure to properly maintain the forward baggage door locking mechanism.

Full narrative available

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