NTSB Identification: MIA96FA048.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, December 19, 1995 in MEMPHIS, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/17/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-301, registration: N8349Z
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.

Preflight weather briefings received by the pilot indicated that icing conditions were forecast for the route of flight and at the destination. The aircraft was not certificated or equipped for flight in icing conditions. While approaching the destination airport the pilot reported encountering moderate rime icing conditions during descent. About 35 minutes later, while on final approach, the aircraft was observed to slow to a 65 knot ground speed and enter a rapid descent. Witnesses observed the aircraft descend from the clouds in a nose down attitude, pitch up to a nose high attitude, and then enter a spin to right from which it crashed. Postcrash examination of the aircraft structure, flight controls, engine, propeller, and aircraft systems showed no evidence of precrash failure or malfunction. The medical examiner reported no findings that would indicate precrash incapacitation of the pilot or passenger.

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

the pilot's continued flight into known forecast icing conditions which resulted in the aircraft developing an ice buildup, and the pilot's failure to maintain control of the aircraft. The icing conditions was a factor.

Full narrative available

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