NTSB Identification: BFO93FA050.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 50307.
Accident occurred Friday, January 15, 1993 in LIGONIER, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/03/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-300, registration: N28196
Injuries: 2 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.

ON JANUARY 15, 1993, THE PILOT REQUESTED AND RECEIVED A WEATHER BRIEFING FROM FSS PERSONNEL FOR A FLIGHT FROM SMOKETOWN, PA, TO LATROBE, PA. THE PILOT WAS ISSUED FLIGHT PRECAUTIONS AND FORECASTS FOR IFR CONDITIONS. VFR FLIGHT WAS NOT RECOMMENDED. A RADAR TARGET WAS OBSERVED DEPARTING SMOKETOWN AT 0727 EST AND WAS TRACKED TOWARDS LATROBE. THE AIRPLANE WAS REPORTED MISSING LATER THE SAME MORNING AND A SEARCH WAS INITIATED. THE AIRPLANE WRECKAGE AND OCCUPANTS WERE LOCATED ON MARCH 18, 1993. AN EXAMINATION OF THE ACCIDENT SITE AND AIRPLANE REVEALED THAT THE AIRPLANE CONTACTED TREES AT THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN AND THEN IMPACTED THE TERRAIN AT ABOUT AN ALTITUDE OF 2,800 FEET MSL. NO AIRFRAME OR ENGINE ANOMALIES WERE NOTED. THE PRIVATE PILOT WAS NON INSTRUMENT RATED AND NO FLIGHT PLAN HAD BEEN FILED FOR THE FLIGHT. INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS PREVAILED AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT.

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

VISUAL FLIGHT RULES (VFR) FLIGHT BY THE PILOT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC), AND THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT ALTITUDE FROM THE WOODED TERRAIN. THE TERRAIN AND ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE RELATED FACTORS.

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