NTSB Identification: ERA09FA133
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 11, 2009 in Milton, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA-46-500TP, registration: N428DC
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 pilot filed a flight plan from his home airport to an airport about 1 mile from the Gulf of Mexico. During the flight, the pilot reported to air traffic control that he was encountering moderate to severe turbulence and, later, that the windshield was "cracking." After reporting the loss of the airplane’s door, the pilot advised that the windshield "has gone." The pilot later transmitted that the airplane’s flight controls were locked, that he was bleeding profusely, and that he was "graying out." The pilot further advised that he intended to "point the aircraft at the gulf," and he then parachuted from the airplane without advising air traffic control. As the airplane continued toward the Gulf of Mexico, air traffic controllers continued attempts to assist the pilot, with no response. The airplane eventually impacted wooded terrain, under power, about 18 nautical miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and about 100 yards from a residential area. An examination of the wreckage revealed no preimpact failures or malfunctions, that the door was still attached to the airframe, and that the windshield was undamaged and secured in its frame. A law enforcement investigation subsequently determined that the pilot, who was facing legal problems, intentionally parachuted from the aircraft near where he had previously stashed a motorcycle. The pilot was apprehended and subsequently plead guilty to federal criminal charges.

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

The pilot's intentional inflight abandonment of the airplane.

Full narrative available

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