NTSB Identification: WPR14FA282
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 06, 2014 in Lake Elsinore, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28R-180, registration: N3723T
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 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.

On July 6, 2014, about 0920 Pacific daylight time, a Piper 28R-180, N3723T, collided with mountainous terrain near Lake Elsinore, California. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from French Valley Airport (F70), Murrieta, California about 0815.

Witnesses reported that they observed the airplane flying in a northerly direction about 200 feet above the ground. The airplane made a steep, climbing turn to the left, barely clearing nearby powerlines. The wings leveled and the airplane flew in a southwesterly direction towards rising terrain. The airplane flew out of view, and about five seconds later they observed a plume of smoke.

Initial review of the accident site revealed the airplane had impacted two trees before coming to rest at the base of a ravine. The airplane was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

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