NTSB Identification: CHI98FA070.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 22, 1997 in HAMPSHIRE, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-301, registration: N2586Y
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 pilot received a weather briefing, and subsequently filed an IFR flight plan to the Casa De Aero Airport, Hampshire, Illinois. The Air Traffic Control Specialist asked the pilot if he had the AIRMETs for turbulence and IFR conditions along his route of flight. The pilot responded, 'Yeah, turbulence, icing and IFR, it's lovely.' While en route, the pilot contacted the Kankakee, Illinois, FSS, and requested weather conditions at DuPage County Airport, West Chicago, Illinois. The pilot was informed that DuPage was 400 feet agl overcast, 5 miles visibility and mist, temperature and dew point of 1 degree Celsius. The pilot then inquired about the weather at Madison, Wisconsin, and was told the weather was a broken ceiling of 800 feet agl, 1 1/2 mile visibility with light freezing drizzle, and a temperature of minus 1 degree Celsius. The pilot then checked in with the Chicago TRACON and reported level at 4,000 feet msl. At 1838, the controller cleared the pilot for the VOR alpha approach into Casa De Aero Airport, and subsequently told the pilot, 'frequency change is approved, and be sure you get to me to cancel [the IFR flight plan] please. I'm protecting the airspace.' At 1848, the airplane dropped below radar coverage and was not heard from again. The controller suspected that the airplane had landed. At 2200, a satellite mission control center began receiving the airplane's ELT signal. At 0230 cst, a CAP ground team narrowed the location of the ELT signal to a field behind a rural residence. Weather conditions precluded the ground team from entering the field until daybreak. The airplane was located at 0813 cst. Examination of the wreckage revealed areas of rime ice, approximately 1/4 inch thick adhering to the leading edges of the left and right horizontal stabilators, the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer, and along a 30-inch section of the leading edge of the right wing at mid-span. No other anomalies with the airplane were revealed.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's intentional flight into known icing conditions, and the accumulation of ice on the leading edges of the airplane's empennage and wings leading to the inadvertent stall/mush. A factor contributing to this accident was the icing conditions. Full narrative available
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