NTSB Identification: SEA92LA110.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47124.
Accident occurred Friday, May 29, 1992 in MONARCH, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/28/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N6434R
Injuries: 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.

AFTER RECEIVING A WEATHER BRIEFING DURING WHICH VFR FLIGHT WAS NOT RECOMMENDED, THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT DEPARTED PRIEST RIVER, EN ROUTE TO LEWISTOWN. APPROXIMATELY 50 NAUTICAL MILES SHORT OF HIS DESTINATION, OVER HILLY/MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN, THE AIRCRAFT COLLIDED WITH TREES NEAR THE TOP OF A 7650 FOOT RIDGELINE AND CRASHED. THE PILOT REPORTED LOW CEILINGS AND 1.5 MILES VISIBILITY RESTRICTED BY MODERATE RAIN AND CLOUDS AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT. HE ALSO REPORTED A LOSS OF ALTITUDE AT FULL POWER APPROACHING THE RIDGELINE THAT WAS NOT ATTRIBUTED TO ANY AIRCRAFT MALFUNCTION.

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

THE PILOT IN COMMAND'S DISREGARD OF THE WEATHER FORECAST AND FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CLEARANCE WITH TREES/TERRAIN. FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: HILLY/MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN, WEATHER CONDITIONS: RAIN, LOW CEILINGS AND DOWNDRAFTS, TREES AND THE PILOT IN COMMAND'S CONTINUED FLIGHT INTO KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER.

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