NTSB Identification: LAX82FA275
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 23, 1982 in SOUTH OF WICKEN, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/1983
Aircraft: PIPER PA-601P, registration: N3642T
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.

AT ABOUT 1005 MST THE PLT RECEIVED A WX BRIEFING FOR A FLT TO FLORIDA WITH AN OVERNIGHT STAY IN TEXAS. THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY WAS FORECAST ALONG THE PROPOSED ROUTE OF FLT. THE BRIEFER ADVISED THE PLT TO GET AN UPDATED BRIEFING BEFORE DEPARTURE BECAUSE OF THE DEVELOPING THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY & TO USE THE SERVICES OF ENROUTE FLIGHT WATCH OUTLETS IN OBTAINING PIREP INFORMATION. AT 2045 THE PLT CONTACTED PHOENIX TRACON & STATED HIS INTENTION TO LAND AT PHOENIX. THE PLT INDICATED HE WAS IN THE CLOUDS AT 17,500 FT. RADIO & RADAR CONTACT WAS LOST AT 2049. THE WRECKAGE WAS FOUND APPROXIMATELY 28 MI WNW OF LUKE AFB. PORTIONS OF BOTH WINGS WERE LOCATED 3 MI FROM THE WRECKAGE. THE ABOVE WX IS THE 2055 OBSERVATION AT LUKE AFB. THE SHERIFF'S DEPUTY DISPATCHED TO THE SCENE REPORTED STRONG WINDS & HEAVY ELECTRICAL STORMS IN THE AREA. A HELICOPTER PLT ESTIMATED A CEILING OF 1,500 FT OVERCAST.

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

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

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

FLIGHT CONTROLS..IMPROPER USE OF..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

LACK OF TOTAL INSTRUMENT TIME..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

SPATIAL DISORIENTATION..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

WING..OVERLOAD

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

WING..FAILURE,TOTAL

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

WING..SEPARATION

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

DESIGN STRESS LIMITS OF AIRCRAFT..EXCEEDED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..CLOUDS


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..THUNDERSTORM


Contributing Factors

PREFLIGHT PLANNING/PREPARATION..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

IN-FLIGHT WEATHER ADVISORIES..NOT OBTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT

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