NTSB Identification: SEA90FA166.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42951.
Accident occurred Sunday, August 26, 1990 in SALEM, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/03/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N8103P
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.

BEFORE TAKEOFF, THE PLT WAS ADZD OF A CURRENT AIRMET FOR THE AREA WITH PRECAUTIONS FOR OCNL MDT TURBC BELOW 14,000' & MTN OBSCN. OCNL MDT RIME OR MIXED ICING WAS FORECAST FOR THE AREA AS WELL AS RAIN SHOWER ACTIVITY. WHEN THE PLT OPENED A VFR FLT PLAN AFTER TAKEOFF, HE WAS REMINDED OF THE PRECAUTIONS & AIRMET FOR TURBC & ICING. AS THE FLT CONTD, THE PLT ADZD HE WOULD BE CLIMBING TO 11,500' MSL. A FEW MIN LATER, HE ADZD HE WOULD DEVIATE FROM COURSE TO 'REMAIN VFR ON THESE CLOUDS.' THERE WAS NO FURTHER COM WITH THE ACFT. WITNESSES ON THE GND HEARD A LOUD BANG, THEN SAW THE ACFT DSCND BELOW THE CLOUD LAYER IN A SPIRAL WITH PIECES SEPG. WRECKAGE WAS SCATTERED OVER A 1/2 AREA. AN EXAM REVEALED EVIDENCE THAT BOTH OUTBOARD SECTIONS OF THE WINGS SEPD UPWARD & REARWARD, WHILE THE HORIZONTAL STABILATOR SEPD DOWNWARD IN FLT. THE INVESTIGATION DID NOT VERIFY WHICH MODE OF FLT THE ACFT WAS IN, WHEN THE IN-FLT BREAKUP OCCURRED.

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

THE PILOT ALLOWED THE DESIGN STRESS LIMITS OF THE AIRCRAFT TO BE EXCEEDED. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT CONCERNED INADVERTENT FLIGHT BY THE PILOT INTO KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS.

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