NTSB Identification: BFO90FA024.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41520.
Accident occurred Friday, February 09, 1990 in NORTON, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/02/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N40793
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 VFR PILOT DEPARTED BOONE, NC, AND CONTACTED TRI APCH STATING THEY WERE 2 DME FROM THE HOLSTON VOR, LEVEL AT 6,500 FT EN ROUTE TO THE HAZARD VOR. THE PLT LATER REQUESTED A DESCENT DOWN TO 5,500 FT. THE PLT REQUESTED A FREQ CHANGE AND NO FURTHER COMMUNICATIONS WERE MADE. THE ACFT CONTACTED A 4,400 FT MOUNTAIN AT AN ELEVATION OF 4,162 FT. THE ACFT TRAVELED THROUGH TREES PRIOR TO COMING TO REST IN A 45 DEG NOSE DOWN ATTITUDE. THE WX DATA LISTED IN THIS REPORT WAS RECORDED AT A REPORTING FACILITY 28 NM FROM THE ACCIDENT SITE. A POLICE OFFICER AND A FOREST SERVICE RANGER STATED THE LOCAL WX CONDITIONS WERE LOW CEILINGS, FOG AND DRIZZLE DURING THE DAY OF THE ACCIDENT. CAP LOCATED THE WRECKAGE 2 DAYS AFTER THE ACCIDENT. POST ACCIDENT INSPECTION FAILED TO REVEAL ANY MECHANICAL FAILURE/MALFUNCTION OF THE AIRFRAM, FLT CONTROLS, OR ENGINE.

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

PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE CLEARANCE OVER MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN WHEN CONTINUING TO FLY INTO DETERIORATING WEATHER CONDITIONS. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT'S LACK OF INSTRUMENT EXPERIENCE, LOW CEILINGS, FOG, AND MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

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