NTSB Identification: IAD97FA079.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 31, 1997 in MELVILLE, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/29/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N6337J
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 private pilot took off at night without obtaining a weather brief or filing a flight plan. The weather at his destination, approximately 30 miles away, included low ceilings and fog. Once airborne, the pilot immediately requested an instrument flight rules clearance to his destination and was vectored for the ILS approach. En-route, the controller questioned the pilot concerning his altitude, and before turning on final course, the pilot requested the ILS frequency for his destination. Once on the tower frequency, the controller told the pilot that the airplane was east of the final course and the pilot concurred. Nothing was heard from the pilot until he announced that he was executing a missed approach procedure. The radar track of the airplane indicated that the airplane turned to the east and was last recorded on a northeast heading at 600 feet MSL. The airplane impacted the ground on a westerly heading. The airplane's maintenance logbooks indicated the pitot static system was not tested in the previous 24 months. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any mechanical problems with the airframe and engine.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane. Factors to this accident were night instrument meteorological conditions with low ceiling and fog.

Full narrative available

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