NTSB Identification: LAX90FA084.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45515.
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 06, 1990 in BAKERSFIELD, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/05/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-46-350P, registration: N8888M
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.

BFR TKOF, PLT WAS ADZ OF IFR CONDS ALONG 1ST PART OF ROUTE, WITH FLT PRCTNS FOR OCNL MOD TURBC BLO 15,000' & MIXED ICG FM FRZG LVL (6000') TO 18,000'. HE FILED IFR FLT PLAN WITH CRUISE ALT OF 11,000'. DRG DEP, PLT WAS CLRD TO CLIMB TO 9000' & TOLD TO EXPECT CLNC TO 11,000', 5 MIN LTR . RADAR DATA SHOWED, ACFT CLIMBED AT ABT 1500'/MIN & 100 KTS, SLOWING SLIGHTLY ABV 8000'. AT ABT 9000', ACFT STARTED TO LVL & ACCELERATE. IT THEN CLIMBED MOMENTARILY, DEVIATED LATERALLY FM COURSE & ENTERED STEEP DSCNT. IN-FLT BREAKUP OCCURRED & WRECKAGE WAS SCATTERED OVR 4100' AREA. TRAJECTORY STUDY SHOWED BREAKUP OCCURRED BTN 4500' & 6500' AS ACFT WAS IN STEEP DSCNT IN EXCESS OF 266 KTS. METALLURGICAL EXAM OF WINGS & STA- BILIZERS REVEALED FEATURES TYPICAL OF OVERSTRESS SEPN; NO PREEXISTING CRACKS OR DEFECTS WERE FND. THE ACFT WAS RECENTLY PURCHASED. PLT'S SON INDCD PRINCIPAL PRBLM WAS 'TWENTY YEAR LEAP IN TECHNOLOGY' FM PREVIOUSLY OWNED PA-24, THAT PLT HAD DIFFICULTY WITH AVIONICS & FLT DRCTR/AUTOPLT, & THAT HE LACKED DETAIL TRNG IN AUTOPLT EMERGENCIES. (SEE:NTSB/SIR-92/03)

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO ACTIVATE THE PITOT HEAT BEFORE FLYING AT AND ABOVE THE FREEZING LEVEL IN INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC), FOLLOWED BY HIS IMPROPER RESPONSE TO ERRONEOUS AIRSPEED INDICATIONS THAT RESULTED FROM BLOCKAGE OF THE PITOT TUBE BY ATMOSPHERIC ICING. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS SPATIAL DISORIENTATION OF THE PILOT.

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