NTSB Identification: CHI92FA267.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 48109.
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 08, 1992 in AURORA, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/28/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-61-601P, registration: N717BB
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 PILOT WAS ON SECOND CORPORATE FLIGHT OF THE DAY AND COMPLAINED TO THE AVIONICS TECHNICIAN ABOUT THE AUTOPILOT AND ASKED HIM TO ADJUST IT. THE TECHNICIAN SAID IT WOULD REQUIRE A FLIGHT CHECK. THE PILOT SAID HE DIDN'T HAVE TIME FOR THAT, AND GOT THE TECHNICIAN TO TELL HIM HOW TO PERFORM THE ADJUSTMENT. RADAR SHOWS THE AIRPLANE STABLE AT 14,100 FEET AFTER DEPARTURE. IT THEN BEGINS TO DEVIATE FROM CRUISE ALTITUDE BETWEEN PLUS 100 FEET TO MINUS 200 FEET. CENTER GIVES THE PILOT A FIFTEEN DEGREE COURSE CHANGE FOR TRAFFIC AND THE PILOT ACKNOWLEDGES THE INSTRUCTION WHILE THE AIRPLANE IS DEVIATING OFF COURSE. RADAR CONTACT WAS LOST AND NO FURTHER RADIO TRANSMISSIONS WERE RECEIVED FROM THE PILOT. WITNESSES ON THE GROUND REPORTED HEARING A LOUD EXPLOSION FOLLOWED BY A MUFFLED EXPLOSION, AND SEEING THE AIRPLANE EXIT CLOUDS VERTICALLY. THE OUTBOARD SIX FEET OF BOTH WINGS WERE FOUND 1.25 MILES FROM CRASH SITE.

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

EXCEEDING THE DESIGN STRESS LIMITS OF THE AIRPLANE BY THE PILOT IN COMMAND.

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