NTSB Identification: NYC90FA039.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42191.
Accident occurred Friday, December 15, 1989 in CAIRO TOWNSHIP, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-31-350, registration: N45CH
Injuries: 6 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.

DURING A PRE-FLIGHT WEATHER BRIEFING, THE INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT WAS TOLD BY THE AFSS SPECIALIST THAT MARGINAL VFR AND IFR CONDIITONS WOULD PREVAIL ALONG THE ROUTE OF FLIGHT. THE PILOT DID NOT FILE A FLIGHT PLAN. THE AIRPLANE WAS LAST DEPICTED ON RADAR AT 2500 FEET MSL AND HEADING TOWARDS HIGH TERRAIN. A NY STATE TROOPER LEAVING HIS OFFICE ABOUT THE TIME THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED STATED SNOW WAS FALLING VERY HARD AND VISIBILITY WAS LOW. THE STATE TROOPER'S OFFICE WAS ABOUT 5 MILES FROM THE CRASH SITE. THE AIRPLANE HIT A 3400 FOOT MOUNTAIN AT AN ELEVATION OF 2500 FEET. THE AIRPLANE WAS MISSING 4 DAYS AND WAS FOUND BY THE CREW OF A NY STATE POLICE HELICOPTER.

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

THE PILOT'S DECISION TO FLY INTO THE KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER AND HIS FAILURE TO SELECT AN ALTITUDE THAT WOULD PROVIDE TERRAIN CLEARANCE. FACTORS WERE: THE ADVERSE WEATHER AND THE PILOT'S DISREGARD FOR THE FORECASTED CONDITIONS.

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