NTSB Identification: NYC89FA095.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 38809.
Accident occurred Sunday, March 05, 1989 in DOUGLAS TWSP, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/1991
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28, registration: N5348S
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Minor.

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.

A STUDENT PLT & PASSENGER TOOK OFF AT NIGHT IN IMC CONDITIONS WITH LOW CEILINGS, FOG & RAIN. A WITNESS, WHO SAW THE ACFT FLY OVERHEAD, VERIFIED THE CEILING WAS VERY LOW & THAT RAIN WAS FALLING, SOMETIMES HEAVILY. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE ACFT CRASHED ABOUT 2 MI FROM THE ARPT AS IT FLEW INTO TREES ON ABOUT 5 DEG RISING TERRAIN. THE PASSENGER WAS FATALLY INJURED, BUT THE PLT WALKED TO A ROADWAY & WAS HELPED. THE ACFT WAS OWNED BY THE STUDENT PLT'S FATHER, WHO SAID HE TOOK IT WITHOUT PERMISSION. BEFORE FLYING, BOTH OCCUPANTS OF THE ACFT WERE SEEN CONSUMING ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. FOUR HRS AFTER THE ACDNT, BLOOD WAS DRAWN FROM THE PLT. A TOXICOLOGY CHECK SHOWED IT HAD AN ALCOHOL LEVEL OF 0.075% (75 MG/DL). A CHECK OF THE PASSENGER'S BLOOD SHOWED AN ALCOHOL LEVEL OF 0.085% (85 MG/DL). POLICE RPRTD THE PASSENGER WAS NOT WEARING A SEAT BELT.

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

POOR JUDGEMENT OF THE STUDENT PILOT BY FLYING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL, AND HIS VFR FLIGHT IN INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC) WITHOUT THE REQUIRED QUALIFICATION OR TRAINING. FACTORS FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: FAILURE OF THE STUDENT PILOT TO FOLLOW PROCEDURES AND DIRECTIVES, HIS LACK OF INSTRUMENT TRAINING, DARK NIGHT, ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS, RISING TERRAIN, TREES, AND FAILURE OF THE PASSENGER TO USE A SEAT BELT.

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