NTSB Identification: SEA91FA207.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44243.
Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 14, 1991 in GUSTAVUS, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/10/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32, registration: N4075W
Injuries: 6 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.

AFTER DEPARTING THE GUSTAVUS ARPT, THE PLT TURNED THE ACFT TOWARD EXCURSION INLET & AIR-FILED A VFR FLT PLAN. AFTER THE FLT PLAN WAS FILED, THERE WERE NO FURTHER RADIO TRANSMISSIONS FROM THE ACFT. A SEARCH WAS INITIATED, BUT HVY FOG, CLOUDS & DARKNESS HAMPERED THE SEARCH. WRECKAGE WAS FOUND THE NEXT MORNING, WHERE THE ACFT HAD CRASHED ON STEEP RISING TERRAIN IN A BOX CANYON AREA. IMPACT OCCURRED AT THE END OF A VALLEY THAT BEGAN NEAR EXCURSION INLET. ELEVATION OF THE CRASH SITE WAS APRX 4000 FT, TERRAIN IN THAT AREA ROSE TO ABOUT 4600 FT. TWO OTHER PILOTS THAT DEPARTED HAINES NEAR THE TIME OF THE ACDNT RPRTD THE CEILING WAS BROKEN TO OVERCAST AT ABOUT 4000 FT. RPRTDLY, THE MOUNTAIN TOPS WERE OBSCURED, BUT THE VISIBILITY BELOW THE CLOUDS WAS ABOUT 20 MI. THE PROP BLADES WERE FOUND WITH DEEP CHORDWISE SCARS & LEADING EDGE/ROTATIONAL DAMAGE.

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

VFR FLIGHT BY THE PILOT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC), AND THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT ALTITUDE AND/OR CLEARANCE FROM MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE ADVERSE WEATHER AND TERRAIN CONDITIONS.

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