NTSB Identification: CHI93LA087.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 48268.
Accident occurred Thursday, February 04, 1993 in AUSTIN, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/25/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32, registration: N3658W
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE INSTRUMENT RATED PRIVATE PILOT DEPARTED IN SPECIAL VFR CONDITIONS FOR A FLIGHT TO ANOTHER AIRPORT ABOUT 17 MILES TO THE WEST. HE WAS ADVISED TO MAINTAIN VFR. HE RECEIVED VFR ADVISORIES FROM ATC, WAS GIVEN A VECTOR FOR THE DESTINATION AIRPORT, AND AGAIN ADVISED TO MAINTAIN VFR. ACCORDING TO THE PILOT, HE ENTERED A FOG BANK AS HE NEARED HIS DESTINATION. HE SAID HE INADVERTENTLY LOST ALTITUDE WHEN HE ATTEMPTED TO ADJUST HIS GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM (GPS). HE TRIED TO REGAIN ALTITUDE, BUT WAS UNABLE TO RECOVER IN TIME TO AVOID HITTING TERRAIN.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ALTITUDE. THE PILOT'S CONTINUED FLIGHT INTO IMC, DIVERTED ATTENTION AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS WERE FACTORS.

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