NTSB Identification: SEA93FA153.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 15, 1993 in BATTLEGROUND, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/01/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-34-220T, registration: N8472C
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.

THE AIRPLANE DEPARTED PORTLAND INTNL ARPT ON A MAINTENANCE CHECK FLT, CLIMBED TO 1900 FT MSL & PROCEDED TO OVERFLY THE PILOT'S RESIDENCE. SUCH OVERFLIGHTS WERE NOT UNCOMMON ACCORDING TO THE PILOT'S WIFE. RADAR DATA SHOWED THE ACFT FLYING A LEFT 360 DEG CIRCLE AT 1900 FT (APPROX 1000 FT ABOVE GND) BEFORE RADAR CONTACT WAS LOST. WITNESES CONFIRMED THE CIRCULAR ORBIT. EARLY INTO THE 2ND ORBIT THEY OBSERVED THE ACFT EXECUTE A STEEP LEFT TURN DURING WHICH THE NOSE DROPPED AND THE ACFT BEGAN A DESCENT, STRIKING A TREE AT A POINT APPROX 110 FT ABOVE THE GROUND IMPACT SITE & SEVERING THE OUTBOARD LEFT WING SECTION. THE ACFT THEN DESCENDED TO THE GND WHILE ROLLING LEFT ABOUT ITS LONGITUDINAL AXIS. PROP SLASH MARKS ASSOCIATED WITH BOTH ENGINES INDICATED APPROXIMATELY 2200 & 2900 RPM FOR THE LEFT & RGT ENGINES RESPECTIVELY UPON GND IMPACT. POST CRASH EXAM REVEALED NO EVIDENCE OF ANY CONTROL MALFUNCTION WITHIN THE ACFT.

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

THE PILOT IN COMMAND'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE ALTITUDE DURING HIS MANEUVER.

Full narrative available

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