NTSB Identification: NYC90FA135.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44573.
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 19, 1990 in GREENVILLE, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/02/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N44897
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 PILOT RECEIVED RADAR VECTORS TOWARD THE AIRPORT, BUT WAS UNABLE TO SEE THE RUNWAY LIGHTS, THOUGH HE TRIED ACTIVATING THEM WITH HIS MIKE SWITCH. HE MADE SEVERAL ORBITING TURNS ABOUT 3 TO 8 MILES SOUTH OF THE AIRPORT. A WITNESS SAID THE AIRPORT WAS SHROUDED IN HEAVY GROUND FOG AND THAT THE VISIBILITY WAS POOR AT THE AIRPORT ABOUT 2 HRS PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT. THE PILOT WAS NOT INSTRUMENT QUALIFIED, BUT HE HAD ABOUT 66 HRS OF NIGHT FLYING EXPERIENCE. THE LAST RADAR RETURN SHOWED THE AIRPLANE AT ABOUT 1600 FT MSL, FLYING IN AN EASTERLY DIRECTION ABOUT 4 MI SOUTH OF THE AIRPORT. ON 6/24/90, THE WRECKAGE WAS FOUND ABOUT 7 MI SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF THE AIRPORT. IT HAD COLLIDED WITH A 1600 FT MOUNTAIN AT AN ELEVATION OF ABOUT 1460 FT.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN THE PROPER ALTITUDE, WHILE SEARCHING FOR THE DESTINATION AIRPORT AT NIGHT. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: DARKNESS, FOG OBSCURING THE DESTINATION AIRPORT LIGHTS, MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN, AND THE LACK OF VISUAL PERCEPTION AT NIGHT.
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