NTSB Identification: ATL07FA102.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 09, 2007 in Tyringham, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-260, registration: N5595J
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.
During a personal instrument flight, the pilot encountered thunderstorms and the airplane separated in-flight over Tyringham, Massachusetts. The pilot obtained a preflight weather briefing and was also advised of a significant meteorological information (SIGMET) during the flight. Control continuity could not be established due to the fragmentation of the wreckage. However, the separation signatures were found to be consistent with the control surfaces being installed and operational at the time of the break-up. Examination of the airframe, flight controls, and engine did not reveal any mechanical anomalies. Review of air traffic control (ATC) data revealed that a relief controller had been briefed to turn the accident airplane due to weather; however, the relief controller failed to issue weather information or initiate a flight deviation around known and clearly observed weather, despite very little traffic and a light workload at the time.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadvertent encounter with thunderstorms during cruise flight. Contributing to the accident was the failure of air traffic control to appropriately issue weather information and initiate an in-flight deviation around known and clearly observed weather.
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