NTSB Identification: CHI90LA280.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 01, 1989 in Engadine, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-22-150, registration: N2440P
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane impacted trees and the terrain in a heavily wooded swamp. The airplane departed on a night cross country flight on December 1, 1989, and failed to arrive at its destination. At 2312, the pilot contacted a flight service station while en route for the forecast weather along his route. At 2342, the pilot contacted the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZMP) and stated that he was "a little disoriented and would like a [transponder] code and a heading toward Sault Ste Marie (ANJ), Michigan." Two transponder codes were assigned to N2440P, but attempts to establish radar contact were not successful. The last communication with N2440P was at 2345 when the pilot informed ZMP that their transmissions were "pretty weak." A witness who reported seeing an airplane flying at tree-top level stated there was heavy snow in the area at the time. The wreckage was located by hunters on October 12, 2002. The airplane descended through the trees for approximately 150 feet on a northeasterly heading prior to coming to rest in a nearly inverted attitude. Flight control continuity was established. The engine separated from the airframe at the engine mounts. The engine was buried in the swamp with approximately 1 1/2 inches of one propeller blade being visible. There were no immediate plans to remove the wreckage from the swamp.

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

A collision with trees and the terrain for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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