NTSB Identification: NYC91FA193.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44745.
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 31, 1991 in FOGELSVILLE, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/24/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-236, registration: N28568
Injuries: 2 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 NON INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT PLANNED A VFR FLIGHT, BUT THE WEATHER AT THE DEPARTURE AIRPORT REMAINED IFR LONGER THAN ANTICIPATED. THE WEATHER WAS STILL MARGINAL VFR, WHEN THE PILOT TOOK OFF. THERE WERE REPORTS OF TURBULENCE, THUNDERSTORMS AND POOR VISIBILITY IN THE AREA. WHILE CLIMBING THROUGH 6700 FEET, THE RADAR DATA SHOWED THE AIRPLANE ENTERED A RAPID DESCENT, WITH VERTICAL VELOCITY EXCEEDING 10,000 FEET PER MINUTE. THE AIRPLANE WINGS SEPARATED IN FLIGHT AND A WITNESS SAW IT SPIRAL INTO THE GROUND, FOLLOWED BY THE WINGS 3 TO 4 MINUTES LATER. THE PILOT HAD A TOTAL FLIGHT TIME OF 218 HOURS.

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

THE IMPROPER DECISION BY THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT TO ATTEMPT VFR FLIGHT IN INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS, WHICH RESULTED IN A LOSS OF AIRPLANE CONTROL. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE PILOT'S OVERCONFIDENCE IN HIS ABILITY, HIS LACK OF TOTAL FLIGHT EXPERIENCE AND HIS LACK OF AN INSTRUMENT RATING.

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