NTSB Identification: ATL87FA174.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 34630.
Accident occurred Thursday, June 18, 1987 in ASHEVILLE, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/1988
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-200, registration: N900AJ
Injuries: 1 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 PERSONAL NIGHT X-COUNTRY VFR FLIGHT OVER MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN THE PLT WAS INFORMED BY ATC THAT VIP LEVEL 3 AND 4 THUNDERSTORMS WERE POSITIONED ACROSS THE INTENDED FLT PATH. THE 128 HOUR NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PRIVATE PLT ACKNOWLEDGED AND CONTINUED THE FLT. SOON AFTERWARDS RADIO AND RADAR CONTACT WERE LOST. THE ACFT EXPERIENCED AN IN-FLIGHT BREAKUP. ALL STRUCTURAL FAILURES HAD OVERSTRESS SIGNATURES TYPICAL OF OVERLOAD. THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF PRE-BREAKUP MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION OR FAILURE. A METEOROLOGICAL SUMMARY OF THE ACCD SITE INDICATED THAT THE LEADING EDGE OF A WX ECHO OF AT LEAST MOD INTENSITY CONTAINING AT LEAST A MOD RAIN SHOWER WAS LOCATED IN THE VICINITY OF THE ACCD SITE.

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

DESIGN STRESS LIMITS OF AIRCRAFT..EXCEEDED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

FLIGHT INTO KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER..ATTEMPTED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

IN-FLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION..POOR..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

HAZARDOUS WEATHER ADVISORY..DISREGARDED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

BECAME LOST/DISORIENTED..INADVERTENT..PILOT IN COMMAND



Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..THUNDERSTORM


Contributing Factors

AIRCRAFT HANDLING..POOR..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LACK OF TOTAL INSTRUMENT TIME..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LACK OF TOTAL EXPERIENCE..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT

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