NTSB Identification: BFO93FA093.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 16, 1993 in HANCOCK, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/17/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28RT-201, registration: N8247G
Injuries: 1 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.

BEFORE TAKEOFF, THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PRIVATE PILOT RECEIVED A WEATHER BRIEFING. HE WAS ADVISED THAT THERE WAS THE POTENTIAL OF IFR WEATHER ALONG HIS ROUTE OF FLIGHT. A WITNESS, WHO HAD JUST RETURNED FROM A FLIGHT, SAID THE PILOT INSISTED THAT HE HAD TO RETURN HOME THAT EVENING. THE WITNESS STATED THAT HEAVY RAIN WAS FALLING. DURING THE FLIGHT, THE PILOT WAS IN CONTACT WITH CLEVELAND AIR ROUTE TRAFFIC CONTROL CENTER, WHEN HE WAS PROVIDED WITH A TRANSPONDER CODE, WHICH WAS NEVER RECEIVED. A SEARCH WAS INITIATED, AND THE AIRCRAFT WAS LOCATED 3 DAYS LATER IN A MOUNTAINOUS AREA. DURING THE IMPACT SEQUENCE, THE ENGINE, WINGS, ELEVATOR AND LANDING GEAR SEPARATED. BOTH PORPELLER BLADES ALSO SEPARATED AND REVEALED EVIDENCE OF ROTATION. A WITNESS CLOSE TO THE SITE REPORTED HEARING A LOW FLYING AIRPLANE IN THE HEAVY RAIN.

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

IMPROPER PLANNING/DECISION BY THE PILOT, HIS INITIATION OF VFR FLT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC), AND HIS LOSS OF AIRCRAFT CONTROL DUE TO SPATIAL DISORIENTATION. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE FOG, RAIN, THE PILOT'S SELF INDUCED PRESSURE, AND HIS LACK OF INSTRUMENT EXPERIENCE.

Full narrative available

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