NTSB Identification: CHI00FA090.
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Accident occurred Friday, March 17, 2000 in DIGHTON, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/02/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N4494X
Injuries: 3 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 pilot contacted his wife an hour before taking off from Denver, Colorado, en route to Wichita, Kansas. He told her that he would be in Wichita in 4 hours. The airplane departed at 1700 mst on a VFR flight plan. An instrument flight plan was filed by the pilot, in flight, with Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). The airplane was handed off to the Kansas City ARTCC. No radio contact was established between the airplane and Kansas City ARTCC. At 2015 cst, Denver ARTCC's last reported radar contact with the airplane was at 4,500 feet msl, 7 miles north, and 5 miles west of the Dighton, Kansas Airport. At 2032 cst, Denver ARTCC contacted the Lane County, Kansas, Sheriff's Office, requesting assistance 'in locating a plane that disappeared from radar.' They were informed that they (Denver ARTCC) heard someone say, 'We're going down.' At 2058 cst, the airplane was located by Lane County Sheriff's deputies. Near the time of the accident, weather reporting stations within 60 miles of the accident site were reporting overcast ceiling, visibility from 1/2 to 3 miles with light rain, and temperatures and dew points at 32 degrees F. An examination of the wreckage revealed no anomalies.

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

the inadvertent stall. Factors relating to this accident were the pilot's inadvertent flight into known adverse weather conditions, the icing conditions, and improper in-flight planning by the pilot.

Full narrative available

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