NTSB Identification: SEA91FA020.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42738.
Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 20, 1990 in ALBION, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/14/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-34-200T, registration: N4325X
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.

DURING A WX BRIEFING THE PILOT WAS BRIEFED THAT A COLD FRONT WX SYSTEM WAS MOVING THROUGH THE ROUTE OF FLIGHT, WITH MODERATE ICING IN CLOUDS TO 16000 FT. THE PILOT HAD TO RETURN TO THE RAMP AFTER TAXIING TO TAKEOFF DUE TO A DEAD BATTERY. AS THE BATTERY WAS BEING RECHARGED, THE PILOT REPORTEDLY SEEMED APPREHENSIVE ABOUT THE WX CONDITIONS AND TOLD THE MECHANIC TO FEEL FREE TO WRITE UP ANY DISCREPANCY THAT WOULD CANCEL THE FLIGHT. THE PILOT ALSO STATED HE DIDN'T LIKE FLYING IN THE KIND OF WEATHER THAT WAS IN THE AREA. ABOUT 50 MINUTES AFTER DEPARTURE THAT PILOT RADIOED THAT HE WAS IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. NO FURTHER COMMUNICATIONS WERE RECEIVED. THE WRECKAGE WAS LOCATED IN AN AREA OF STEEP MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN THAT RISES TO OVER 9000 FT MSL. EVIDENCE SHOWED THAT THE WINGS AND STABILATORS SEPARATED PRIOR TO GROUND IMPACT. LEADING EDGE SURFACES OF THE AIRPLANE EXIBITED PITTING AND ABRASION OF PAINT, WITH AREAS OF PAINT STRIPPED DOWN TO BARE METAL. BLIZZARD WEATHER CONDITIONS EXISTED AT THE TIME.

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

THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE AIRPLANE IN INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS. FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE THE PILOT'S APPREHENSION OF FLYING IN THE FORECASTED WEATHER, AND THE ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS ENCOUNTERED DURING THE FLIGHT.

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