NTSB Identification: FTW02FA130.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 27, 2002 in Alpine, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-34-200T, registration: N132CP
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.

While enroute, the instrument-rated pilot requested to air traffic control a GPS instrument approach to the intended destination airport; however, ATC denied the request due to traffic and the low cloud bases in the area. The pilot then requested an IFR clearance to an alternate airport. ATC cleared the pilot for an ILS approach to an alternate airport. The pilot then reported to air traffic control that when able, he would cancel the IFR clearance and proceed to the intended destination airport under VFR. Witnesses observed the airplane flying northbound towards the intended destination airport and operating "low, fast and it's landing gear was up." They observed the weather to be "very rainy, and foggy and the visibility was poor." The airplane continued to the north and disappeared instantly into the fog and clouds. The 3,864-hour pilot was found to be familiar with the route of flight having completed approximately 370 flights between the departure and destination airports. No distress calls were received from the pilot prior to the accident. The airplane impacted trees and the terrain at an elevation of approximately 5,675 feet msl. During examination of the wreckage, no aircraft or engine anomalies were noted that would have prevented normal operations.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with terrain and continued flight into known adverse weather conditions. Contributing factors were the fog and rain weather conditions.

Full narrative available

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