NTSB Identification: NYC90FA225.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42823.
Accident occurred Saturday, September 22, 1990 in BERLIN, VT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/17/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-30, registration: CFSKO
Injuries: 4 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 AIRCRAFT DEPARTED HALIFAX FOR BURLINGTON, LOADED ABOUT 400 LBS ABOVE ITS MAXIMUM CERTIFICATED GROSS WEIGHT. HOWEVER, THE EN ROUTE FUEL BURN-OFF HAD REDUCED ITS WEIGHT WITHIN LIMITS. AFTER THE FLIGHT REACHED THE MONTPELIER AREA, THE WEATHER DETERIORATED TO IFR CONDITIONS. THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT INDICATED THAT HE HAD FLOWN INTO CLOUDS SEVERAL TIMES AND WAS ABLE TO RETURN TO VFR CONDITIONS. HOWEVER, JUST BEFORE IT CRASHED, THE AIRCRAFT WAS OBSERVED TO SPIN OUT OF LOW CLOUDS. THE AUTOPILOT ROLL AXIS WAS FOUND ON, THE PITCH AXIS WAS OFF AND THE ELEVATOR WAS TRIMMED TO A NEAR FULL NOSE DOWN POSITION.

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

THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT'S CONTINUED VFR FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC), AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN AIRCRAFT CONTROL AFTER BECOMING SPATIALLY DISORIENTED. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS, AND THE PILOT'S LACK OF INSTRUMENT EXPERIENCE.

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