NTSB Identification: NYC97FA172.
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Accident occurred Friday, August 29, 1997 in BAPTISTOWN, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/31/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-250, registration: N5464Y
Injuries: 1 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 pilot was performing a postmaintenance evaluation flight with two recently overhauled engines and propellers. Witnesses observed the airplane at a low altitude, with the engines operating at high power. One witness, a pilot, reported that the speed was 'fast and not near a stall or Vmc.' The airplane was observed to roll right and descended into a wooded area. The fuselage and wings were fragmented. Cut wood and impact marks corresponding to both engines were found at the accident site. A check of the airplane failed to reveal a mechanical failure or malfunction. A review of logbooks revealed no recent maintenance to the flight control system. A check with the pilot's doctors revealed no outstanding medical problems.

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

failure of the pilot to maintain control of the airplane for undetermined reason(s), while operating it at low altitude.

Full narrative available

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