NTSB Identification: NYC04FA179.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 27, 2004 in Exton, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N91075
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.

A witness observed the airplane takeoff, and approximately 50 feet above the runway, it disappeared into the clouds. The witness reported that the weather was "foggy and rainy," and he could not see the trees on the opposite side of the runway. Radar data indicated that the airplane departed to the east/northeast and climbed to 4,000 feet. Approximately 30 seconds later, the airplane began a right 360-degree turn, descending slightly. The target then stopped its descent briefly, while continuing a right turn, and returned to 4,000 feet. Seconds later, the target descended through 2,500 feet. A witness observed the airplane in a "very steep angle, almost straight up and down," flying in between two homes on her street. The witness described the engine sound as "revving," or as if someone were "accelerating and decelerating." The airplane impacted the roof of a residence, and scattered debris across a street, coming to rest in the yard of a second residence. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no mechanical deficiencies. Examination of the pilot's logbook revealed he had accumulated 560 hours of total flight experience, 11.9 hours of actual instrument time, and 114 hours of simulated instrument time. He received his instrument rating 7 months prior to the accident. According to Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 61.57(c), Instrument Experience, "no person may act as pilot in command under IFR or in weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for VFR, unless within the preceding 6 calendar months, that person has: performed and logged under actual or simulated instrument conditions, (i) at least six instrument approaches, (ii) holding procedures; and (iii) intercepting and tracking courses through the use of navigation systems." During the 6 months prior to the accident, the pilot performed 4 approaches, and accumulated 4.5 hours of actual instrument flight time.



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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control in instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in the airplane impacting a residence. Factors in the accident were the pilot's lack of recent instrument experience.

Full narrative available

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