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On September 4, 1995, a Piper PA 28-140, N571PA, was reported missing after it did not return to Wenatchee, Washington at its estimated time of arrival of 1330 Pacific daylight time. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed. The airplane is presumed destroyed and the private pilot and his two passengers are presumed fatally injured. The flight had departed from Wenatchee at 1130. The pilot had reported that the route of flight was from Wenatchee to Chelan, Washington, then to Lake Wenatchee State, a private airstrip located 35 miles northwest of Wenatchee, with a return to Wenatchee.
A search was initiated, however, the airplane has not been located. The search was suspended on September 10, 1995.
Personnel at Chelan and Lake Wenatchee State, reported that the airplane did not land at either airport, nor was there a visual sighting.
The pilot holds a private pilot certificate that was issued on June 2, 1995. At the time of the accident, it is estimated that the pilot had accumulated a total flight time of 71 hours, with approximately three hours in the Piper PA-28-140. Training records obtained from the registered owner and operator, Wings of Wenatchee, indicate that the pilot received his flight training through Wings of Wenatchee. The pilot received all of his training in a Cessna 150/152. The pilot was checked out in the Piper on July 23, 1995.
At 1300, the Wenatchee weather facility was reporting a clear sky with ten miles visibility. The wind was from 140 degrees at nine knots. Airport personnel at both Chelan and at Lake Wenatchee State reported high winds and turbulent conditions on the day of the accident.
At 1018, the pilot contacted the Seattle Automated Flight Service Station to obtain a standard weather briefing for the Wenatchee area. The specialist reported moderate turbulence below 15,000 feet over eastern Washington. At this time, Wenatchee was clear, with scattered clouds expected for the afternoon. Some mountain obscurement was reported over the Cascade mountain range.
The pilot then filed a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight plan. The pilot planned on departing Wenatchee at 1130, with his route of flight to Chelan, Lake Wenatchee State and returning to Wenatchee at 1330. The estimated time en route was two hours, with the highest altitude of 9,500 feet. The conversation was concluded at 1023.