NTSB Identification: BFO89FA004.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39794.
Accident occurred Friday, October 28, 1988 in OCEAN CITY, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-34-200, registration: N666RW
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.

WITNESSES SAW THE ACFT FLYING ABOUT 2 MILES NORTH OF THE DESTINATION AIRPORT (OCY) HEADED EAST AT AN ALTITUDE OF ABOUT 600 FT AGL. THE ACFT CROSSED THE SHORELINE AND WENT OVER WATER. THE ACFT WAS ABOUT ONE-HALF MILE OFFSHORE WHEN IT TURNED SOUTH. ACCORDING TO WITNESSES, THE ACFT BEGAN DESCENDING WHEN IT TURNED. THE DESCENT CONTINUED UNTIL IT CRASHED INTO THE WATER, ABOUT A MILE NORTHEAST OF OCY. WITNESSES REPORTED HEARING ENGINE SOUNDS THE ENTIRE TIME. WITNESSES ALSO REPORTED DARK NIGHT CONDITIONS EXISTED OVER WATER. EXAMINATION OF THE ACFT REVEALED NO EVIDENCE OF MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION. THE PLT WAS DENIED AN FAA MEDICAL CERTIFICATE IN AUGUST, 1986 BECAUSE OF CARDIOVASCULAR DEFICIENCES. THE PLT'S BODY WAS NOT RECOVERED.

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

THE PILOT FAILED TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE CLEARANCE ABOVE THE TERRAIN. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS ARE INATTENTION TO ALTITUDE AND DARK NIGHT CONDITIONS OVER ILLUSIONARY PRODUCING FEATURELESS WATER.

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