NTSB Identification: CHI94FA036.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 14, 1993 in CEDAR LAKE, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/20/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N32303
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 private, instrument rated, pilot had waited at the fixed base operator's facility for several hours to go flying. When he signed out the airplane, an employee stated the pilot said: 'I'm going up to do a cloud check.' There was no record of a weather brief being given to the pilot by the Kankakee Automated Flight Service Station. A flight instructor who had been practicing for a Part 135 flight check and landed five minutes before the pilot took off, reported the ceiling was 700 feet overcast. There was also light rain and fog in the vicinity. The airplane crashed in an open field. The property owner where the airplane crashed reported: 'The motor was really buzzing, and it sounded like an explosion when it hit.' The attitude was wings level. The wreckage came to rest 210 feet from the point of initial impact facing opposite the direction of travel. The examination of the wreckage did not reveal any malfunction of the engine or airframe.

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

the failure of the pilot to maintain proper altitude. A factor related to the accident was flight into known adverse weather by the pilot.

Full narrative available

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