NTSB Identification: CHI98FA309.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 09, 1998 in NEW HAMPTON, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-200, registration: N9350N
Injuries: 3 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 flight departed Airlake Airport, Minneapolis, Minnesota en route to Rock County Airport, Janesville, Wisconsin. According to Radar Data, the images showed activity in the area of the accident site. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot did not possess an airplane instrument rating. At 1928 central daylight time, a person, who stated that his aircraft was N9350N received a visual flight rule weather briefing The briefer reported that a Northeast Southwest orientated cold front was moving through the area, ahead of which was a huge area of thunderstorms and rain showers which started around Rochester and extended to the Steven's Point area. The caller reported, during his weather briefing, that he was looking at the radar of convective activity on a screen in front of him. There were no radio communications with the accident aircraft and Flight Watch or Minneapolis Center. The wreckage was found over a 1,350 foot by 1,030 foot area. Both wings, vertical stabilizer and left half of the stabilator were not located with the aircraft's fuselage and exhibited deformation at their separation points.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight/planning inspection and his continued flight into known adverse weather conditions that led to spatial disorientation and loss of aircraft control. Also causal was the pilot exceeded the design limits of the airplane causing in-flight separation of the wings and empennage. Contributing to the accident were the poor weather conditions, and the pilot's lack of an instrument rating.

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