NTSB Identification: CHI92FA013.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46451.
Accident occurred Friday, October 18, 1991 in LAFAYETTE, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/08/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA28-140, registration: N38713
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 ACCIDENT AIRPLANE WAS SEEN TO TAXI TOWARD THE RUNWAY DURING THE EARLY HOURS OF DARKNESS. THE DESTROYED AIRPLANE WAS DISCOVERED THE NEXT MORNING IN A FIELD 500 FEET EAST OF THE AIRPORT PROPERTY. NO FLIGHT PLAN WAS ON FILE. THE PILOT OF ANOTHER AIRPLANE DEPARTING FROM THE AIRPORT ABOUT THE SAME TIME DESCRIBED VERY STRONG CROSSWINDS. THE OBSERVED WINDS AT THE NEAREST REPORTING STATION WERE 80 DEGREES TO THE LEFT OF THE DEPARTURE RUNWAY HEADING UNDER OVERCAST SKIES. THE MEASURED VELOCITY WAS 20 KNOTS GUSTING TO 25. THE AIRPLANE STRUCK A TREE 400 FEET RIGHT OF THE EXTENDED CENTERLINE OF THE DEPARTURE RUNWAY ABOUT 75 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL.

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

FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO COMPENSATE FOR WIND CONDITIONS DURING INITIAL CLIMB. FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THE ACCIDENT ARE CROSSWIND CONDITIONS AND A DARK NIGHT LIGHT CONDITION.

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