NTSB Identification: ATL05FAMS1.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 20, 2005 in Ft Pierce, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-23, registration: N6886Y
Injuries: 3 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 flight departed Treasure Cay International Airport, Abaco Island, Bahamas en route to Ft. Pierce, Florida. The pilot contacted the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZMA) after departure from the Treasure Cay airport, and requested IFR clearance to Fort Pierce, Florida. The ZMA controller radar identified the airplane and issued clearance to Fort Pierce via direct Freeport, direct Fort Pierce, at 10,000 feet. The airplane traveled west along Grand Bahamas Island until reaching Freeport, and then turned northwest toward Fort Pierce. During interviews with air traffic controllers it was revealed that during the period that the airplane was on frequency broadcast SIGMET information relevant to the airplane's route of flight was transmitted. However both controllers stated that they observed precipitation return in the vicinity of the airplane's route, but they never advised the pilot of those observations. Radar data shows the airplane passing through an area of intense weather radar echoes containing thunderstorms with intense rain, up and downdrafts, at least moderate turbulence, horizontal wind gusts, and IMC conditions. The FAA order 7110.65, "Air Traffic Control," paragraph 2-6-4, "Weather and Chaf Services, " States: 2. Issue the level of echo intensity when that information is available.

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

The pilot's continued flight into known thunderstorm activity that resulted in the loss of control and the subsequent collision with water. A factor was the controller's failure to provide the pilot with convective intensity.

Full narrative available

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