NTSB Identification: FTW88FA028.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 37188.
Accident occurred Saturday, November 14, 1987 in LANCASTER, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/26/1989
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N8980J
Injuries: 4 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 PILOT RECEIVED A WEATHER REPORT INDICATING THAT IFR CONDITIONS PREVAILED. AFTER TAKEOFF THE AIRPLANE TRAVELED APPROXIMATELY 1/2 MILE BEFORE IT CRASHED. PILOT WAS NOT INSTRUMENT RATED AND HAD VERY LITTLE TOTAL TIME. HE DID HAVE THREE HOURS OF NIGHT TIME AND TWO HOURS OF SIMULATED INSTRUMENTS, BUT NO ACTUAL INSTRUMENT TRAINING. IMPACT MARKS INDICATE THAT THE ACFT CRASHED RT WING FIRST WITH THE NOSE DOWN ABOUT 45 DEGREES. THE WRECKAGE TRAVELED FOR A TOTAL OF 144 FT. THE FRONT OF THE ACFT WAS DEMOLISHED. THE RT WING HAS SEPARATED INTO SEVERAL PIECES. THE FUSELAGE WAS BROKEN OPEN ON THE RT SIDE. THE ENG & PROP WERE PUSHED UNDER THE INSTRUMENT PANEL. CONTINUITY WAS ESTABLISHED BETWEEN THE FLT CONTROLS AND CONTROL SURFACES. CONTINUITY WAS ESTABLISHED THROUGH THE ENG. AN ENG TEARDOWN WAS NOT PERFORMED. ONE WITNESS SAW THE TAKEOFF BUT NO ONE SAW THE DESCENT OR CRASH BECAUSE OF LOW VISIBILITY. FOUR PERSONS REPORTED HEARING THE ACFT FLY OVER AT LOW ALT WITH REVVING ENG AND 3 OF THEM HEARD THE CRASH.

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:

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


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..FOG


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..HAZE/SMOKE


Contributing Factors

OVERCONFIDENCE IN PERSONAL ABILITY..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LACK OF TOTAL EXPERIENCE..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

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

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