NTSB Identification: NYC96LA013.
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Accident occurred Monday, October 16, 1995 in HONSDALE, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/07/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-32, registration: N39964
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot obtained a weather briefing and filed an IFR flight plan with an Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS). After takeoff, he climbed to his cruising altitude of 8,000 feet, which was above the clouds. En route he encountered strong headwinds, and requested a descent to 6,000 feet. ATC issued the pilot an initial descent to 7,000 feet. During the descent, he encountered severe turbulence and icing. After descending below the clouds, the pilot could not maintain altitude and made a forced landing downwind to a nearby airport. During landing, the airplane was blown off of the runway into the runway lights. The reported winds were 250 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 24 knots. During the weather briefing with the AFSS, the pilot was issued an AIRMET for light to moderate mixed/rime icing, in the clouds and precipitation, from the freezing level to 10,000 feet, and isolated severe icing in the clouds. He was given the freezing level along his route to be between 2,000 and 4,000 feet. The briefer also gave the pilot the forecast for 'strong westerly winds,' which included winds at 9,000 feet, from 280 degrees at 38 knots. The airplane was not equipped with anti-icing, or deicing equipment, except for a heated pitot tube.

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

the pilot's improper evaluation of the weather briefing, and his decision to fly into known forecasted moderate to severe icing conditions. Factors in the accident were the adverse weather conditions encountered during the flight and landing.

Full narrative available

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