Accident Piper PA-30-160 Twin Comanche B N8372Y, 26 Dec 2013
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 162867
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA30 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-30-160 Twin Comanche B
Registration: N8372Y
MSN: 30-1526
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Biglerville, PA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Bloomsburg Municipal Airport, PA (N13)
Destination airport:Summerville Airport, SC (DYB)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Before the flight, the pilot obtained weather information for an airport near the departure airport and for an airport about 275 miles south along his route of flight. He did not file a flight plan, did not receive any other services for the accident flight, and departed in night visual meteorological conditions. According to GPS and air traffic control data, the airplane was flying on a southwesterly heading before it turned right. It subsequently turned left and then right before it entered a descending left turn and impacted terrain. Examinations of the airframe and engines revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. Further, there was no evidence of a medical impairment that would have affected the pilot's performance. A review of the plot’s logbooks revealed no entries for night or instrument flight in the year before the accident.

A National Weather Service observation from about 15 miles southwest of the accident site showed rapidly changing conditions with a band of snow moving across the region at the time of the accident. In addition, the next observation showed a lowering ceiling that was overcast to broken from 3,200 to 2,800 ft above ground level; snow started falling about 26 minutes after the accident. Considering the weather conditions around the time of the accident, it is likely that the pilot inadvertently encountered instrument meteorological conditions in light snow with no visible surface lights and, as a result, had to transition to relying solely on the instruments. Given these conditions, the pilot’s limited instrument and night experience, and the pilot’s maneuvering, it is likely that he experienced spatial disorientation and subsequently entered a descending left turn and lost control of the airplane.

Probable Cause: The noninstrument-rated pilot's spatial disorientation after inadvertently encountering instrument meteorological conditions at night and his subsequent loss of airplane control.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 3 months
Download report: Final report


Photo: NTSB

Revision history:

26-Dec-2013 14:02 harro Added
26-Dec-2013 17:44 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Embed code, Narrative]
27-Dec-2013 07:40 Anon. Updated [Location]
27-Dec-2013 17:05 harro Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator]
27-Dec-2013 17:59 Geno Updated [Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source]
27-Dec-2013 21:41 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type]
17-Jan-2014 01:49 Geno Updated [Phase, Nature, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
28-Feb-2016 22:24 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
16-Apr-2017 20:51 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
16-Apr-2017 21:01 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source]
29-Nov-2017 09:27 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
29-Mar-2022 22:29 Captain Adam Updated [Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Photo]

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