NTSB Identification: SEA84FA068.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 24274.
Accident occurred Monday, March 12, 1984 in HOOD RIVER, OR
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28RT-201, registration: N8301T
Injuries: 6 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.

AFTER CROSSING THE DALLES AT 12,500 FT MSL, THE PLT REPORTED TO ARTCC HE WAS ENTERING SOLID CLOUDS. HE SUBSEQUENTLY REPORTED LEVEL AT 3,000 FT MSL FOLLOWED BY 'IF AH WE CAN'T STAY VFR WE'LL GO AHEAD AND CLIMB UP TO ABOUT FIVE AND FILE IFR.' THE ACFT WAS OBSERVED FLYING IN & OUT OF PATCHES OF 'LIGHT FOG' AT ABOUT 450 TO 500 FT AGL NEAR AN INTERSTATE HWY & CLOSE TO MOUNTAINS. A WITNESS REPORTED THE TOP THIRD OF THE MOUNTAINS ADJACENT TO THE GORGE WAS OBSCURED. THE ACFT IMPACTED A STEEP SLOPING RIDGE. ON PREVIOUS PORTIONS OF THE X-COUNTRY FLT, WHICH ORIGINATED IN ALABAMA, THE PLT HAD FLOWN IN IFR CONDITIONS & HAD EXECUTED AN INSTRUMENT APPROACH. HIS LOGBOOK INDICATED THAT HE HAD FLOWN A TOTAL OF 16.6 HOURS OF ACTUAL INSTRUMENT TIME. THE ACFT'S CG WAS ESTIMATED TO BE APRX .6 INCH BEHIND THE AFT LIMIT. TWO OF THE OCCUPANTS WERE SMALL CHILDREN WEIGHING 31 & 37 LBS.

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:

ALTITUDE..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

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


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..RISING



Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..CLOUDS


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..MOUNTAINOUS/HILLY


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..FOG


Contributing Factors

LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH GEOGRAPHIC AREA..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..OBSCURATION

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