On August 2, 1994, at 1815 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-25-260, N4887Y, piloted by Donald L. Quesnel, of Middlebury, Vermont, struck trees near Crown Point, New York, while maneuvering to exit instrument meteorological conditions. The airplane was destroyed and the pilot received minor injuries. No flight plan had been filed for the positioning flight operated under 14 CFR Part 91.

When interviewed, the pilot reported the airplane was being positioned to Saranac Lake, New York, for an aerial application flight. The pilot was flying around 1500 feet MSL as he passed Crown Point, and it was hazy, but he could see the ground. He made a decision to return to Middlebury, Vermont, his departure point due to deteriorating weather. After he turned around, he inadvertently entered a cloud and it got dark and cold. He said he attempted to maneuver clear of the cloud, however, he saw trees off his left wing and struck trees prior to exiting the cloud. At the time of the accident, the altimeter was reading around 1500 feet. No chemicals were onboard the airplane at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that prior to departure, he did not call the FAA Flight Service Station for a weather briefing; however, he did listen to a weather broadcast on a NOAA radio and said he was aware of the weather in the area.

According to FAA Records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate. He did not possess an instrument rating. The pilot reported he had 773 flight hours total time, with 575 flight hours in the Piper PA-25.

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