NTSB Identification: CHI91FA031.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45143.
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 21, 1990 in GAYLORD, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/02/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-RT300, registration: N9800K
Injuries: 4 Fatal,2 Serious.

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 HAD OBTAINED 3 WEATHER BRIEFINGS BEFORE THE NIGHT FLIGHT. FORECAST WEATHER WAS IMC ENROUTE AND AT DESTINATION, DETERIORATING THROUGH MIDNIGHT. THE PILOT FILED VFR TO SAGINAW AND IFR TO HIS DESTINATION. HE WAS NOT INSTRUMENT-RATED. THE PILOT BROKE OUT BENEATH A 600-FT OVERCAST AND ATTEMPTED FOR THE NEXT HOUR TO LAND. THE AIRPLANE EVENTUALLY FLEW INTO TREES ON AN EXTENDED DOWNWIND IN THE LANDING CONFIGURATION.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE TERRAIN CLEARANCE. FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE DARK NIGHT, ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS, AND THE PILOT'S OVERCONFIDENCE IN CONTINUING VFR FLIGHT INTO THESE CONDITIONS.

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