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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 44331
Last updated: 17 January 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA24 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-24-260
Owner/operator:Stambaugh Packaging Co
Registration: N9311P
C/n / msn: 24-4807
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Tiffin, OH -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Tiffin, OH (16G)
Destination airport:Tiffin, OH (16G)
Investigating agency: NTSB
When the pilot arrived at the airport, the weather included an estimated ceiling "about treetop level," and the visibility was about 1/2 mile due to fog. The pilot carried on a conversation with the airport manager for about an hour, then drove over to his hangar to "wash the windshield of his airplane." Witnesses then heard the airplane depart, but could not see it due to fog and the low ceiling. One witness said, "I just heard him takeoff. I was surprised that anyone would takeoff in those weather conditions." The published takeoff minimums for the airport were ceiling 300 feet, with 1 mile visibility. The airplane impacted trees and terrain about 1 minute after takeoff, and pieces of angularly cut wood were found along the 400-foot wreckage path. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any pre-impact failures or malfunctions. Interviews and FAA records showed that the pilot was instrument rated, but did not obtain a weather briefing or file a flight plan prior to departure. Toxicological testing of the pilot revealed the presence of prescription stimulants and antidepressants. The extent to which these drugs may have affected the pilot could not be determined.
Probable Cause: The pilot's decision to takeoff in weather below the published takeoff minimums, which resulted in spatial disorientation and the airplane's collision with trees and terrain. Factors in the accident were the instrument meteorological conditions, and the pilot's inadequate weather evaluation.



Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
06-Dec-2017 11:00 ASN Update Bot Updated [Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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