NTSB Identification: CHI89FA040.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39056.
Accident occurred Monday, January 02, 1989 in CARMEL, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/11/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-200, registration: N2CL
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.

THE AIRCRAFT DEPARTED FOR THE X-COUNTRY FLT IN IMC CONDITIONS. WHILE CLIMBING TO CRUISE, THE PLT EXPERIENCED A LOSS OF AIRCRAFT CONTROL FOLLOWED BY AN INFLIGHT SEPARATION OF BOTH WINGS AND THE EMPENNAGE. SUBSEQUENT INVESTIGATION REVEALED ICE BLOCKING THE PITOT/STATIC TUBE. ICING FORECASTS WERE VALID FOR THE PERIOD COVERING THE TIME OF THE FLIGHT AND THE PLT HAD RECEIVED A BRIEFING REGARDING POSSIBLE ICE. ALTHOUGH THE PITOT HEAT TESTED TO BE OPERATIONAL WHEN CHECKED DURING A POST ACCIDENT EXAM, THE PITOT HEAT SWITCH WAS FOUND IN THE OFF POSITION AFTER THE ACCIDENT.

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

THE PILOT'S POOR UNDERSTANDING OF THE WEATHER FORECAST, HIS FAILURE TO UTILIZE THE PITOT HEAT IN ICING CONDITIONS AND THE EXCEEDING OF THE STRESS LIMITS OF THE AIRCRAFT.

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