Accident Piper PA-24-260 N9080P, Monday 6 January 1997
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Date:Monday 6 January 1997
Time:21:26 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA24 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-24-260
Owner/operator:Dakota Ridge Aviation, Inc.
Registration: N9080P
MSN: 24-4550
Total airframe hrs:3776 hours
Engine model:Lycoming IO-540-D4A5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Winston, MT -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Billings, MT (KBIL)
Destination airport:Spokane, WA (KSFF)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
An ATC controller observed the night IFR flight with the 68-year old pilot deviating south of course then correcting back a little bit before deviating south again. The deviations were as much as 90 degrees, and altitude varied by about 14,400 feet MSL down to 14,000 feet MSL. Then, approximately 10 southeast of Helena, Montana, radar contact was lost in an area of normally good radar coverage. The airplane sustained an in-flight breakup before impacting in hilly terrain. The flight had been cleared to climb to 12,000 feet at 1936; at 2006 the controlller noted that 'I don't know where he's going...he's all over the place....' During on-scene investigation, it was determined that the portable oxygen bottle being carried in the airplane was not being used by the pilot. The pilot was known to fly at altitudes above 12,500 feet, and as high as 17,000 feet, without using oxygen. An autopsy of the pilot revealed atherosclerosis of coronary arteries with 90% stenosis of left anterior descending coronary artery and 90% stenosis of right coronary artery, as well as multiple blunt force injuries.

Probable Cause: Pilot incapacitation due to hypoxia. Failure of the pilot to use available oxygen is a factor.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: SEA97FA044
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 3 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
08-Apr-2024 17:16 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Category, Accident report]

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