NTSB Identification: SEA88FA012.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 35047.
Accident occurred Thursday, October 22, 1987 in COLVILLE, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/11/1989
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N15653
Injuries: 2 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.

ALTHOUGH THE RECENTLY CERTIFICATED PRIVATE PILOT WAS NOT CHECKED OUT BY THE FIXED BASE OPERATOR FOR NIGHT FLIGHT AND HAD BEEN WARNED TO RETURN BEFORE SUNSET, HE DEPARTED THE AIRPORT DURING DARK NIGHT CONDITIONS. WITNESSES REPORTED OBSERVING THE AIRCRAFT CLIMB OUT AND THEN EXECUTE A RIGHT TURN BACK TOWARDS THE AIRPORT DURING WHICH THE CLIMB EVOLVED INTO A DESCENT. THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK THE GROUND IN A RIGHT WING DOWN NOSE LOW ATTITUDE ON A BEARING CLOSELY APPROXIMATING THE DOWNWIND FOR THE DEPARTURE RUNWAY AND AT A POINT ROUGHLY 1600 FEET ABEAM THE EXTENDED RUNWAY CENTERLINE. NO MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION WAS EVIDENT; NOR WAS THERE ANY EVIDENCE OF ANY PREIMPACT PILOT IMPAIRMENT.

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

PROPER CLIMB RATE..NOT MAINTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

SPATIAL DISORIENTATION..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

LACK OF TOTAL EXPERIENCE IN TYPE OPERATION..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

VISUAL/AURAL PERCEPTION..PILOT IN COMMAND

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