NTSB Identification: ERA10LA066
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 15, 2009 in Newcomb, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/12/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N1723T
Injuries: 2 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 pilot and passenger were returning home on a night cross-country flight. The flight did not arrive and a search for the airplane ensued. The wreckage was found about 47 nautical miles from the destination airport, on the south side of a 4,600-foot mountain, about 600 feet below its peak. The initial impact area was a rock ledge, and a majority of the cabin and fuselage was consumed by postcrash fire. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of preexisting mechanical anomalies and propeller signatures were indicative of engine power at impact. A portable global positioning system unit was found at the accident site; the data for the flight revealed that the airplane was in a shallow descent and on an approximate heading to the destination airport at the time of the accident. Although the exact weather conditions at the accident site were not determined, low clouds and fog were reported in the vicinity at the time of the accident. The accident occurred about 10 minutes after the end of civil twilight and there was no discernable moonlight at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from mountainous terrain during descent at night, with low clouds and fog.

Full narrative available

Index for Nov2009 | Index of months