NTSB Identification: ATL88FA233.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 37797.
Accident occurred Sunday, August 21, 1988 in PITTSBORO, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-300, registration: N4169W
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.

THE PLT HAD AN INSTRUMENT PLT ACCOMPANY HIM ON THE FLIGHT TO MYRTLE BEACH IN THE EVENT THE WX REQUIRED IFR FOR THE RETURN FLT. WHEN THEY ARRIVED AT MYRTLE BEACH, THE PLT DECIDED THAT THEY WOULD REMAIN OVERNIGHT. AFTER VISITING SOME NIGHT SPOTS AND DOING SOME DRINKING, THE TWO BECAME SEPARATED AND WENT THEIR OWN WAY. THE PLT DECIDED TO RETURN TO CHAPEL HILL. HE FLEW THE ROUTE AT 8,500 FEET. ARRIVING NEAR HIS DESTINATION, HE CONTACTED RALEIGH/DURHAM (RDU) APCH CONT AND WAS CLEARED TO DESCEND AT PLT'S DISCRETION, BUT WAS TOLD TO MAINTAIN VFR. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH TREES IN INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS IN A HIGH SPEED DESCENT. INDEPENDENTLY CONDUCTED TOXICOLOGY TESTS INDICATED BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVELS OF 0.10% AND 0.071%. ON THE PILOT'S APPLICATION FOR A MEDICAL CERTIFICATE HE HAD DENIED ANY RECORD OF TRAFFIC CONVICTIONS OR EXCESSIVE DRINKING HABITS. DURING THE INVESTIGATION IT WAS LEARNED THAT THE PILOT HAD BEEN CONVICTED FOR DWI IN JUNE 1987 AND HAD HAD HIS DRIVER LICENSE SUSPENDED FOR 1 YEAR IN JANUARY 1988.

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

JUDGMENT..POOR..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

AIRCRAFT CONTROL..NOT MAINTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

SPATIAL DISORIENTATION..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

IMPAIRMENT(ALCOHOL)..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

LACK OF TOTAL INSTRUMENT TIME..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

OVERCONFIDENCE IN PERSONAL ABILITY..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..CLOUDS


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..FOG

Index for Aug1988 | Index of months