NTSB Identification: ATL83FA081.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 22159.
Accident occurred Sunday, January 02, 1983 in BEAUFORT, SC
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N8066P
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.

WHILE EN ROUTE IN IMC, THE ATC CONTROLLER NOTED THAT THE ACFT BEGAN TO REVERSE COURSE & ASKED THE PLT IF HE WAS HAVING A PROBLEM. THE PLT RESPONDED THAT THE ACFT WAS IN CLOUDS, HE WAS HAVING PROBLEM WITH HIS ARTIFICIAL HORIZON & THAT HE DIDN'T REALIZE HE WAS IN A TURN. SUBSEQUENTLY, HE REPORTED FAILURES OF THE ARTIFICIAL HORIZON & AUTOPILOT, AND SAID HE WAS USING NEEDLE, BALL & AIRSPEED. THE CONTROLLER PROVIDED GYRO OUT PROCEDURES, BUT THE PLT WAS UNABLE TO MAINTAIN AN ALTITUDE & HEADING. ALSO, WX THRU-OUT THE AREA CONSISTED OF LOW CEILINGS & CLOUDS TO ABOVE 18,000 FT. THE PLT WAS ADVISED THE BEST WX AROUND WAS AT CHATTANOOGA, TN, WHICH HAD 1300 SCATTERED, 2000 FT OVERCAST, VISIBILITY 3 MI WITH LIGHT RAIN & FOG. SHORTLY AFTER THAT, RADIO & RADAR CONTACT WERE LOST. PARTS OF THE ACFT WAS FOUND IN THE COMBHEE RIVER. THE RIGHT WING WAS FOUND ABOUT 1000 FT FROM THE RIVER. THE VACUUM PUMP, ENG, TURN & BANK INDICATOR AND SEVERAL OTHER ITEMS WERE RECOVERED FROM THE RIVER, BUT NO MALFUNCTION OR FAILURE OF THESE WAS FOUND.

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

REASON FOR OCCURRENCE UNDETERMINED

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

AIRCRAFT HANDLING..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

WEATHER CONDITION..CLOUDS


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

FLIGHT/NAV INSTRUMENTS,ATTITUDE INDICATOR..INOPERATIVE


Contributing Factors

AUTOPILOT/FLIGHT DIRECTOR..INOPERATIVE


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..FOG


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..RAIN

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