NTSB Identification: MIA07LA084.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 21, 2007 in Atlantic Ocean
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2008
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-250, registration: N4TR
Injuries: 5 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 non-instrument rated pilot received a weather briefing 30-minutes prior to departure, in which he was informed that the remains of a low pressure system was in the area of the Northern Bahamas and that some showers associated with the remains were present along the coast of Florida. The weather was moving to the south and that locally there were some heavy weather returns, generally 10 miles or less. The flight departed and the pilot was instructed to maintain visual flight rules conditions. When cleared to climb to his cruising altitude the pilot stated that he was going to stay around 2,500 feet for he had some weather in front of him. The pilot was told to contact another controller and when contact was made, the pilot reported he was at 4,000 feet, climbing to his cruise altitude. No further transmissions were received from the pilot and shortly thereafter the flight was lost from radar contact. Air traffic control radar data overlaid with weather radar data showed the flight entered a line of weather containing Video Integrator Processor Level 4 thunderstorms just prior to being lost from radar. A debris field was located on the ocean by a Coast Guard helicopter about 95 minutes after the accident. The field contained aircraft and human remains and a jacket being carried by one of the airplanes occupants was recovered.

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

The pilot's continued visual flight rules flight into known adverse weather conditions, resulting in an in-flight loss of aircraft control. Contributing to the accident were thunderstorms.

Full narrative available

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