NTSB Identification: CHI96FA324.
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Accident occurred Monday, September 02, 1996 in GROSSE ILE, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N7082W
Injuries: 2 Fatal,2 Serious.
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.
A witness said she remembered first hearing the airplane and then turned to watch the airplane climb out. She said that the airplane's altitude was lower than normal. 'The airplane was going right to left. It was half as high as the normal flight traffic going on.' The witness said she then saw the airplane enter a steep left bank of approximately 70 to 75 degrees. The airplane came at her and continued its turn so that she could see the bottom of the airplane. The witness said that the airplane lost altitude steadily through the turn until the left wing contacted the water. 'There was a splash, but not an overly large one. The airplane then came out upright.' Another witness said the airplane 'was way low. Usually, they are five times higher. The right wing went up. The engine sound went silent. The airplane disappeared behind the trees. Then I heard a thud. The whole thing lasted 6 to 8 seconds.' The pilot and the passenger in the right rear seat survived the accident. Both sustained head injuries and remember nothing regarding the accident. Examination of the wreckage revealed no anomalies.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot exceeding the critical angle of bank required to maintain altitude. Full narrative available
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