NTSB Identification: ATL92FA008.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46038.
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 16, 1991 in SPRING LAKE, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28RT-201T, registration: N83027
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 NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT REPORTED TO APPROACH CONTROL THAT HE WAS IN THE CLOUDS, AND MAKING A 180 DEGREE TURN. A PILOT WITNESS STATED THAT THE AIRCRAFT EXITED THE BASE OF THE CLOUD LAYER IN A 45 DEGREE NOSE DOWN ATTITUDE, AND IN A 20 DEGREE LEFT BANK. THE WITNESS ESTIMATED THE SPEED OF THE AIRCRAFT TO BE APPROXIMATELY 250 KNOTS. THE PILOT'S OPERATING HANDBOOK FOR THE AIRCRAFT LISTS THE MAXIMUM MANEUVERING SPEED AT 121 KNOTS. THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK HIGH POWER LINES AND CRASHED IN A WOODED AREA. THE LEFT AND RIGHT WINGS OF THE AIRCRAFT WERE FOUND BENEATH THE POWER LINES, AND DID NOT SHOW ANY INDICATION OF HAVING STRUCK THE POWER LINES. THE SPAR FRACTURES IN THE WINGS WERE IN AN UPWARD OR POSITIVE DIRECTION. A LARGE PIECE OF THE 1 1/4 INCH DIAMETER POWER CABLE WAS FOUND WRAPPED AROUND THE PROPELLER HUB AND PROPELLER.

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

THE INADVERTENT FLIGHT FROM VISUAL FLIGHT RULES FLIGHT CONDITIONS INTO INSTRUMENT FLIGHT RULES FLIGHT CONDITIONS BY THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT, AND HIS SUBSEQUENT FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT.

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