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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 137335
Last updated: 3 October 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-22-135 Tri Pacer
Registration: N8721C
C/n / msn: 22-1368
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Near Liberty Mountain, about 15 miles east of Granite Falls, WA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Elk, WA
Destination airport:Arlington, WA (AWO)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The non-instrument rated pilot departed the airport for a 198-mile cross-country flight. Weather conditions at the departure airport were visual flight rules (VFR); however, the weather along the intended route of flight varied between VFR and instrument flight rules conditions. Weather satellite imagery from about 5 minutes before the time of the accident depicted an extensive area of low stratiform clouds throughout the area. No defined convective clouds were identified along the route of flight. The satellite images showed that clouds began about 50 miles east of the accident site and increased in coverage and thickness toward the intended destination. The images also depicted that an overcast layer of stratocumulus to nimbostratus clouds obscured the accident site. An area forecast for the day of the accident included a warning that the mountains would remain mostly obscured during the morning hours. It is likely that the pilot encountered clouds and failed to maintain terrain clearance. There was no record of official weather briefings, but the pilot may have obtained an unofficial weather brief from another source for the flight. Examination of the accident site via helicopter revealed that the airplane came to rest on steep sloping terrain just below a ridge line. The wreckage was mostly consumed by fire. An on scene examination of the airplane wreckage was not conducted due to terrain conditions and the wreckage was not recovered.
Probable Cause: The non-instrument rated pilotís decision to continue visual flight into clouds and his failure to maintain clearance from terrain while maneuvering in an area of reduced visibility, low clouds, and mountain obscuration.



Revision history:

10-Jul-2011 03:03 gerard57 Added
10-Jul-2011 04:11 RobertMB Updated [Date, Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 16:59 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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