NTSB Identification: IAD05LA096.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 05, 2005 in Cape May, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-25, registration: N6289Z
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

After conducting preflight inspection and fueling the airplane, the pilot departed the airport and picked up the banner. While in cruise flight the airplane began to lose altitude. The pilot attempted to correct for the altitude loss by applying full power, but the airplane continued to descend. After a period of time, the airplane's descent ceased, and it flew normally. The pilot was not alarmed by this event because he often encountered downdrafts in the area. Later, the airplane again began to lose altitude. The pilot applied full power, adjusted the engine controls, released the banner, and configured the airplane in various combinations of airspeed and angle of attack, all having little affect on the descent rate. Due to the number of persons on the beach, the pilot elected to ditch the airplane in the Atlantic Ocean. The airplane subsequently sank, and was not recovered.

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

A partial loss of engine power for undetermined reasons. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain to perform a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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