NTSB Identification: LAX90FA002.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39877.
Accident occurred Thursday, October 05, 1989 in PALM SPRINGS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/29/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28RT-201T, registration: N3063T
Injuries: 4 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 PIPER PA-28 PLT ENTERED LEFT TRAFFIC TO LAND ON RWY 12 IN WINDS THAT WERE VARIABLE AT 6 KTS. THE RWY WAS 8500' LONG, BUT IT HAD A 1200' DISPLACED THRESHOLD. AT ABT THE SAME TIME, A BOEING 727 (ALASKA FLT 192) WAS ON AN APCH TO LAND ON THE SAME RWY. THE TWR CTLR ADZD THE PA-28 PLT OF THE OTHER TRAFFIC & CAUTIONED HIM ABT WAKE TURBULENCE. THE PA-28 WAS ABEAM THE APCH END OF THE RWY ON A CLOSE DOWNWIND AS FLT 192 LANDED. THE PA-28 PLT WAS CLRD TO LAND & HE ENTERED AN 'IMMEDIATE STEEP BANK AND DESCENDING TURN.' RPRTDLY, THE PA-28 WAS MANEUVERED ONTO FINAL APCH ABT 100' TO 200' AGL, THEN IT BEGAN OSCILLATING EXCESSIVELY & CRASHED. NO PREIMPACT MECHANICAL PROBLEM WAS EVIDENT. A WEIGHT & BALANCE COMPUTATION SHOWED THE PA-28 WAS ABT 150 LBS OVER ITS MAX GROSS WEIGHT LIMITATION & THE CG WAS 3.86 INCHES BEHIND THE AFT LIMIT.

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

IMPROPER IN-FLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION BY THE PILOT, AND HIS FAILURE TO FOLLOW WAKE TURBULENCE AVOIDANCE PROCEDURES, WHICH RESULTED IN A VORTEX TURBULENCE ENCOUNTER. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO ASSURE THE AIRCRAFT WAS LOADED WITHIN ITS WEIGHT AND BALANCE LIMITATIONS.

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