NTSB Identification: NYC02FA142.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 18, 2002 in Grindstone, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2003
Aircraft: Beech C24R, registration: N18860
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.

The pilot was diverting around thunderstorm activity and had reported experiencing "severe turbulence." About 4 minutes later, the airplane began a descending left turn from about 4,700 feet. The airplane was observed at 4,400 feet and then 9 seconds later the airplane disappeared from radar, at an altitude of 3,100 feet. Witnesses reported observing parts separating from the airplane, prior to impact. Examination of the wreckage, which was scattered about 1/2 mile, did not reveal any pre-impact malfunctions. Convective Sigmets and a center weather advisory for thunderstorm activity were in effect for the area and provided to the pilot by air traffic control. Cloud tops in the area of the accident site were about 26,000 feet, with cloud tops about 40,000 feet, 11 miles north of the accident site.

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

The pilot's inadequate in-flight planning/decision resulting in flight into adverse weather, and his failure to maintain aircraft control resulting in overstress of aircraft. A factor was the thunderstorm activity.

Full narrative available

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