NTSB Identification: BFO94FA017.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, November 24, 1993 in RAVENNA, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/20/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28RT-201, registration: N8467H
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.

During the takeoff climb in instrument meteorological conditions at night, the pilot became spatially disoriented. Prior to takeoff, and during the last flight prior to the accident, the pilot was made aware of an attitude indicator inaccuracy in the accident airplane. A witness to the accident stated that he heard the airplane's engine at high RPM then go to Low RPM. He stated he heard the engine do this a few times over the airport area. He stated that he saw the airplane come out of the cloud base and then bank into a 60-degree left turn. The airplane impacted trees and then a paint hangar before coming to rest on the ground. An IFR flight plan was filed for the cross country personal flight. Witness reports indicated the cloud base was anywhere between 200 to 700 feet above the ground around the time of the accident. Post accident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any anomalies.

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

THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO FLY THE AIRPLANE WITH KNOWN DEFICIENCIES IN THE ATTITUDE INDICATOR AND BECAME SPATIALLY DISORIENTED DURING THE TAKEOFF CLIMB. FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT WERE THE LOW CEILING, NIGHT CONDITIONS, AND AN INACCURATE ATTITUDE INDICATOR.

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