NTSB Identification: FTW88FA023.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 37200.
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 04, 1987 in FULTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/26/1989
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-260, registration: N3666W
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.

ACFT DEPARTED IN CONDITIONS OF LOW CEILING AND VISIBILITY WITH A STUDENT PLT AND PAX ON BOARD. WITNESSES AT THE ARPT ESTIMATED THE CEILING AS 150 TO 300 FT OVC WITH 1/8 TO 1/4 MILE VIS IN FOG. AFTER LIFT OFF THE ACFT ENTERED THE FOG IN A RT CLIMBING TURN AND REAPPEARED OVER THE RUNWAY HEADING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION AT VERY LOW ALTITUDE. WITNESSES ON THE BEACH, ABOUT 1/2 MILE FROM THE ARPT STATED THAT THE WEATHER WAS 'POOR AND FOGGY'. THEY OBSERVED THE ACFT IMPACT THE WATER IN A RT BANK AND DISAPPEAR. INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE ENG DRIVEN VACUUM PUMP WAS INOPERATIVE AT THE TIME OF T/O. THE PUMP HAD A SHEARED DRIVE SHAFT THAT EXHIBITED CONSIDERABLE WEAR. IN ADDITION, THE PUMP VANES WERE EXCESSIVELY WORN AND ONE VANE WAS FOUND JAMMED BETWEEN THE ROTOR AND THE CASE. DETAILED EXAMINATION OF THE PUMP REVEALED THAT IT HAD BEEN INOPERATIVE FOR SOME TIME PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT.

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

PREFLIGHT PLANNING/PREPARATION..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

FLIGHT CONTROLS..IMPROPER USE OF..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

SPATIAL DISORIENTATION..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:

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


Contributing Factors

VACUUM SYSTEM..INOPERATIVE


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..FOG



Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

FLIGHT/NAV INSTRUMENTS,ATTITUDE GYRO..INOPERATIVE


Contributing Factors

PREFLIGHT BRIEFING SERVICE..NOT USED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

MAINTENANCE,REPLACEMENT..NOT PERFORMED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

OVERCONFIDENCE IN PERSONAL ABILITY..PILOT IN COMMAND

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