NTSB Identification: MIA88FA001.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 35159.
Accident occurred Friday, October 02, 1987 in EVERGLADES CITY, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/16/1989
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-250, registration: N3RP
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.

THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PLT ATTEMPTED A VFR FLT OVER THE EVERGLADES DURING THE HRS OF DARKNESS. THE ACFT CRASHED INTO A SWAMPY AREA AT A HIGH RATE OF SPEED WHILE IN A 90 DEGREE LEFT BANK. THE ACFT DISINTEGRATED ON IMPACT. A CONVECTIVE SIGMET WAS ISSUED ABOUT 25 MINUTES AFTER DEPARTURE. IT IS UNKNOWN WHETHER THE FLT RECEIVED THE SIGMET INFORMATION. AN EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK RANGER PILOT, WHO ARRIVED ON THE SCENE AFTER THE ACCIDENT, STATED THAT THE AREA INTO WHICH THE FLT WAS OPERATING WAS DESOLATE, WITH NO GROUND LIGHTS & NO DISCERNABLE HORIZON DURING THE HRS OF DARKNESS. THE SURFACE WX OBSERVATION AT FORT MYERS, ABT 50 MILES NW OF THE ACCIDENT SITE, INDICATED 4,500 FOOT BROKEN CLOUDS AND 7 MILES VISIBILITY. WX SATELLITE PHOTOS INDICATED THUNDERSTORMS IN THE AREA WHERE THE ACCIDENT TOOK PLACE.

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

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

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

SPIRAL..NOT CORRECTED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

WEATHER EVALUATION..POOR..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

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

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

VFR FLIGHT INTO IMC..INADVERTENT..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..THUNDERSTORM


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..TURBULENCE


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

SPATIAL DISORIENTATION..PILOT IN COMMAND

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