NTSB Identification: MIA01FA043.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 14, 2000 in BELVIDERE, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-31-325, registration: N120JB
Injuries: 1 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 flight was maneuvering in instrument meteorological conditions and was observed on radar making climbing and descending turns prior to making a final descending turn and being lost from radar. Examination of the crash site showed the airplane had impacted the terrain in a about a 90-degree nose down attitude. The crash site was about .09 miles from the last radar contact, when the airplane was 2,000 feet above ground level. Post crash examination of the airplane structure, flight controls, engines, propellers, and airplane systems showed no evidence of pre-crash failure or malfunction.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control due to spatial disorientation while maneuvering in instrument meteorological conditions resulting in the airplane entering a descending turn and crashing into terrain.

Full narrative available

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