NTSB Identification: SEA90FA129.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42627.
Accident occurred Monday, July 09, 1990 in PRINEVILLE, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/14/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32RT-300T, registration: N30511
Injuries: 1 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.

WITNESSES OBSERVED THE ACFT MANEUVERING AT A LOW ALTITUDE, TRAILING WHITE SMOKE, WITH ROUGH ERRATIC ENGINE SOUNDS. A PVT PILOT REPORTED THE ACFT WAS FILLED WITH WHITE SMOKE. THE ACFT MADE A STEEP TURN, PITCHED NOSE UP, ROLLED INVERTED, AND DESCENDED NOSE DOWN TO IMPACT. EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE REVEALED A FRACTURED COUPLING FLANGE ON THE LEFT INTERMEDIATE EXHAUST PIPE. METALLURGICAL EXAMINATION OF THE FRACTURED FLANGE REVEALED MULTIPLE ORIGIN FATIGUE FAILURE.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE LEFT INTERMEDIATE EXHAUST PIPE, IN-FLIGHT ENGINE FIRE AND SMOKE IN THE COCKPIT, RESULTING IN IMPAIRMENT OF THE PILOT AND HIS SUBSEQUENT LOSS OF CONTROL.

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