NTSB Identification: MIA91FA035.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43018.
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 28, 1990 in BUNNELL, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N174ER
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.
AFTER TAKING OFF AT NIGHT, THE PLT WAS FOLLOWING A VFR PROCEDURE, WHICH TOOK THE ACFT OVER A DARK UNLIGHTED AREA. SUBSEQUENTLY, IT COLLIDED WITH TREES & CRASHED ABOUT 8 MI FROM THE ARPT, WHILE IN A SHALLOW DESCENT. THE MAIN WRECKAGE CAME TO REST 578 FEET PAST THE INITIAL TREE IMPACT POINT. NO EVIDENCE OF A PREIMPACT MECHANICAL FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE ACFT OR ENG WAS FOUND. THE PLT HAD ACCUMULATED 12 HRS OF NIGHT FLYING TIME. HIS PREVIOUS NIGHT FLT WAS 106 DAYS BEFORE THE ACDNT.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN ALTITUDE, WHILE MANEUVERING AT NIGHT OVER AN UNLIGHTED AREA, WHICH RESULTED IN A COLLISION WITH TREES. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: DARKNESS AND POSSIBLE SPATIAL DISORIENTATION OF THE PILOT DUE TO LACK OF VISUAL QUES.
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