NTSB Identification: SEA96LA120.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 31, 1996 in SEATTLE, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/03/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161, registration: N47852
Injuries: 1 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.

At 0027, the pilot reported to Boeing Field Tower that he was 10 miles northwest of the airport, and he requested a stop-and-go landing. At 0028, the pilot told the tower he had lost engine power over Elliott Bay and was attempting a restart. Radio and radar contact with the aircraft was lost at 0029 when it was over Puget Sound about 1/2 mile north-northeast of Alki Point. A U.S. Coast Guard search did not locate the aircraft, although an oil slick was found on the water in the vicinity of the last radar position. The pilot turned himself in to authorities 3-1/2 weeks after the disappearance and was charged with mail fraud (for false insurance claims he made for his flying club) as well as making a false distress signal (in connection with this disappearance.) In a plea agreement, the pilot pleaded guilty to both charges. The aircraft was not recovered, nor was its location verified.

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

An intentional plan or decision by the pilot to ditch the airplane in Puget Sound.

Full narrative available

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