NTSB Identification: SEA88FA078.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 36662.
Accident occurred Saturday, April 16, 1988 in PORT ANGELES, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/16/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32RT-300T, registration: N36815
Injuries: 3 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.

DRG ARR, THE FLT WAS HANDED OFF TO WHIDBEY ISLAND APCH CTL AT WHIDBEY ISLAND (NUW) NAVAL AIR STN (NAS). NUW WAS 35 MI NE OF THE DESTN (FAIRCHILD INTL ARPT/CLM), AT PORT ANGELES, WHICH HAD NO OPERG CTL TWR. THE PLT WAS GIVEN THE NUW WX, WHICH WAS 400 SCAT, ESTD 2600' OVC, VIS 6 MI WITH FOG. THE FLT WAS VECTORED TOWARD CLM & WAS CLRD TO DSCND TO THE MIN VECTORING ALT OF 1000' MSL OVER THE STRAITS OF JUAN DE FUCA. THE PLT RPRTD THE ARPT BEACON IN SIGHT & CANCELLED HIS IFR CLNC. THE ACFT WAS OBSERVED TO FLY OVER THE ARPT AT LOW ALT ON A SW HEADING. THE UNICOM OPERATOR ASKED THE PLT FOR A CEILING RPRT, BUT THE PLT REPLIED THAT HE WAS UNABLE TO DETERMINE THE CEILING DUE TO FOG. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE ACFT CRASHEDON RISING TERRAIN ABOUT 2 MI SSW OF THE ARPT, WHILE IN A LEVEL TURN AT AN ELEV OF 1300'. THE 0505 PDT WX AT CLM WAS ESTD 500' BRKN, 4000' OVC, VIS 6 MI WITH FOG. THE CTLR RPRTD THAT ON INITIAL CONTACT WITH THE FLT, THE 0505 WX FOR CLM WAS NOT YET AVAILABLE ON HIS WX VISION SCREEN. THE ARPT ELEV AT CLM WAS 290'.

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

IN-FLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

ALTITUDE..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

VFR FLIGHT INTO IMC..CONTINUED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..MOUNTAINOUS/HILLY


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..RISING


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..FOG


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..DRIZZLE/MIST


Contributing Factors

LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH GEOGRAPHIC AREA..PILOT IN COMMAND

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