NTSB Identification: CHI89FA101.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39387.
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 31, 1989 in BRISTOL, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-46-310P, registration: N9114B
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.

AFTER BEING CLEARED TO DESCEND TO TWELVE THOUSAND FEET AND TO DEVIATE AROUND A 'BIG CELL', THE AIRCRAFT ENTERED AN AREA OF LEVEL TWO AND THREE THUNDERSTORMS. SUBSEQUENTLY, AN IN-FLIGHT BREAKUP OCCURRED AND WRECKAGE WAS SCATTERED OVER A FOUR MILE AREA. DURING THE BREAKUP, THE RIGHT WING AND EMPENNAGE SEPARATED FROM THE AIRCRAFT. THE LEFT WING AND SPAR ALSO FAILED AT THE SAME LOCATION AS THE RIGHT WING, BUT THE LEFT WING REMAINED WITH THE FUSELAGE. NO PRE-ACCIDENT FAILURE, MALFUNCTION OR METAL FATIGUE OF THE AIRCRAFT WAS FOUND DRG THE INVESTIGATION.

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

CONTINUED FLIGHT BY THE PILOT INTO KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER AND HIS EXCEEDING THE DESIGN STRESS LIMITS OF THE AIRCRAFT, WHICH RESULTED IN FAILURE OF THE WING SPARS AND SEPARATION OF THE RIGHT WING AND EMPENNAGE (STABILIZERS). CONTRIBUTING FACTORS WERE: CONTINUED FLIGHT BY THE PILOT ABOVE THE MANEUVERING SPEED (VA), HIS LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH THE MAKE AND MODEL OF AIRCRAFT, AND THUNDERSTORMS.

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