NTSB Identification: NYC91LA078.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43092.
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 19, 1991 in PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/05/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-250, registration: N5512Y
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT OBTAINED WEATHER INFORMATION FROM THE TV PRIOR TO DEPARTURE AND USED LORAN AS A MEANS OF NAVIGATION TO HIS DESTINATION. HE SAID HE OVERFLEW THE AIRPORT AND THEN EXTENDED SEVERAL MILES. WHILE MANEUVERING TO RETURN TO THE AIRPORT, THE AIRPLANE FLEW INTO RISING TERRAIN, STRIKING TREES. A WITNESS WHO HEARD THE CRASH DESCRIBED THE WEATHER AS FOGGY AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT WITH VISIBILITY BETWEEN 100 AND 200 FEET. THE PILOT SAID HE WAS MANEUVERING AT 3000 FEET, HOWEVER, HE STRUCK A RIDGE AT APPROXIMATELY 2200 FOOT. THE PILOT SAID THE ACCIDENT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED IF HE HAD MAINTAINED A HIGHER ALTITUDE OVER THE SCATTERED CLOUDS.

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

INTENTIONAL FLIGHT BY THE PILOT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS WHICH RESULTED IN A INFLIGHT COLLISION WITH RISING TERRAIN, WHICH WAS OBSCURED BY FOG. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOTS EVALUATION OF THE WEATHER.

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