NTSB Identification: NYC93LA088.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 51618.
Accident occurred Monday, April 19, 1993 in NELLYSFORD, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-150, registration: N1494P
Injuries: 1 Serious,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 PILOT STATED THAT HE PLANNED A VFR FLIGHT AT 1000 FT AGL. HIS ROUTE OF FLIGHT WAS OVER HILLY TERRAIN. HE SAID THAT 'CLIMB PERFORMANCE WAS NOTICEABLY LOW AND...SMOKE [WAS COMING] FROM THE LEFT ENGINE.' HE ENTERED A MOUNTAIN PASS AND DISCOVERED HE COULD NOT FIND AN EXIT FROM THE HIGH TERRAIN. THE PILOT MADE A SHARP TURN TO MANEUVER AWAY FROM THE HILLS. WITNESSES SAW THE AIRPLANE FLYING AT LOW ALTITUDE AND THEN SAID IT 'STARTED A TURN TO THE LEFT AND THEN WENT STRAIGHT DOWN, NOSE FIRST.' THEY SAID NOTHING ABOUT SEEING 'PLUMES OF BLACK SMOKE,' OR HEARING ABNORMAL ENGINE SOUNDS. THE LEFT ENGINE WAS EXAMINED, AND EXCEPT FOR ONE MAGNETO THAT WAS NOT FUNCTIONING, NOTHING WAS FOUND THAT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED THE ENGINE FROM RUNNING.

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

THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE INFLIGHT DECISION AND PLANNING, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN AN ALTITUDE ADEQUATE FOR TERRAIN AVOIDANCE.

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