NTSB Identification: CHI90FA174.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43462.
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 11, 1990 in ASHTON, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32R-301T, registration: N43515
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 FLT ORIGINATED AT 0151 CDT AFTER THE PLT & PSGR HAD SPENT A DAY SIGHTSEEING & ATTENDED A NGT BASEBALL GAME. BEFORE DEPG, THE PLT RCVD A WX BRIEFING & FILED AN IFR FLT PLAN. OVC SKIES WITH CUMULIFORM CLOUDS & RAIN SHOWERS PREVAILED ALONG THE ROUTE. THOUGH THE PLT WAS NOT BRIEFED ABOUT TSTMS, ONLY WIDELY SCATTERED TSTMS WITH MODERATE RAINSHOWERS WERE FORECAST. WHILE EN ROUTE, THE PLT MADE A TRANSMISSION THAT HIS COMPASS WAS 'SWINGING' & THEN CONTACT WITH THE ACFT WAS LOST. SUBSEQUENLTY, AN INFLT BREAKUP OF THE ACFT OCCURRED & WRECKAGE WAS SCATTERED OVER A WIDE AREA. RADAR DATA SHOWED THAT THE AIRPLANE MADE RAPID CHANGES IN ALTITUDE BEFORE BREAKING UP. AN EXAM OF THE WRECKAGE SHOWED THAT BOTH WINGS FAILED IN POSITIVE OVERLOAD. THE STABILATOR FAILED DOWN & WAS BENT AFT BEFORE SEPARATING FROM THE ACFT. THE REST OF THE AIRCRAFT WAS EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED BY IMPACT & FIRE.

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

A LOSS OF AIRCRAFT CONTROL FOR AN UNKNOWN REASON, WHILE EN ROUTE IN INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC) ON A DARK NIGHT, AND THE PILOT EXCEEDING THE DESIGN STRESS LIMITS OF THE AIRCRAFT WHILE ATTEMPTING TO RECOVER FROM UNCONTROLLED FLIGHT. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: PILOT FATIGUE AND PROBABLE SPATIAL DISORIENTATION OF THE PILOT AND/OR AN INSTRUMENT MALFUNCTION.

Index for Jul1990 | Index of months