NTSB Identification: CEN09FA070
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 22, 2008 in Marshfield, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/09/2009
Aircraft: PIPER PA46-500TP, registration: N67TE
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.

Witnesses reported that the airplane appeared to be making a normal approach for landing when it suddenly rolled to the left, descended, and impacted the terrain about one-half mile from the runway. On arrival at the scene, the witnesses saw the airplane fully engulfed in flames. The flight was operating in night visual meteorological conditions and the runway lights were illuminated at the time of the accident. The pilot communicated no problems or difficulties while in contact with air traffic control (ATC) during the accident flight. A post-accident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any anomalies associated with a pre-impact failure or malfunction. Radar track data and weather observations indicated that the pilot climbed through an overcast cloud layer without the required ATC clearance, en route to his intended destination. The pilot previously had been issued a private pilot certificate with single and multi-engine airplane ratings upon successful completion of the prescribed practical tests. He was subsequently issued a commercial pilot certificate, which included the addition of an instrument airplane rating, based on military flight experience. However, a review of military records and statements from his family indicated that the pilot had never served in the military. The pilot's medical history and toxicology testing showed he had a history of back pain and was taking medication for that condition that commonly causes impairment. However, the time proximity for the pilot having taken the medication prior to the accident flight and any possible impairment, could not be determined.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during final approach for landing in night, visual meteorological conditions for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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