Accident Piper PA-28-181 N2938X, Thursday 7 January 1988
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Date:Thursday 7 January 1988
Time:18:19
Type:Silhouette image of generic P28A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-28-181
Owner/operator:private
Registration: N2938X
MSN: 28-7990575
Total airframe hrs:1346 hours
Engine model:LYCOMING O-360-A4M
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Category:Accident
Location:Napa, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Lancaster, CA (WJF)
Destination airport:Napa, CA (APC)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
THE PLT WAS RETURNING AFTER A 2 WEEK VACATION TRIP TO ARIZONA. AT AN ENROUTE STOP THE PLT ORDERED THE ACFT FUELED TO PARTIAL TANK CAPACITY ON 1 SIDE & FULL ON THE OTHER. HE ALSO GOT A WX BRIEFING WHICH ADVISED AGAINST VFR FLT DUE TO CLOUDS, FOG & RAIN. THE PLT HAD AN INST RATING BUT WAS NOT CURRENT. THE PLT CONT ON TO THE DEST & FOUND WORSE WX CONDS THAN FORECAST. HE ASKED OAKLAND CENTER FOR AN APPROACH & WAS GIVEN HOLDING INSTRUCTIONS & TOLD TO EXPECT DELAYS DUE TO HEAVY IFR TRAFFIC. AT THAT TIME THE ACFT HAD ABOUT 1 HR & 30 MINS OF FUEL LEFT. THE PLT HELD FOR 47 MINS BEFORE AN APPROACH CLEARANCE WAS ISSUED. ON THE APPROACH THE PLT REPORTED THE VOR INBOUND BUT RADAR DATA SHOWED HE WAS OVER THE airport INSTEAD. THE PLT WAS 3 MILES PAST airport WHEN CONTROLLERS TOLD HIM HIS POSITION. PLT CLAIMED HE HAD A FIRE & HAD LOST HIS GYROS & ASKED FOR VECTORS TO ARPT. ACFT CRASHED WHILE MANEUVERING IN IFR COND. NO EVIDENCE OF FIRE OR GYRO FAILURE WAS FOUND. CAUSE: PILOT'S INFLIGHT LOSS OF CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT WHILE MANEUVERING IN IFR CONDITIONS AFTER BECOMING DISORIENTED WHILE EXECUTING AN INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURE. FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT WERE THE PILOTS LACK OF RECENT INSTRUMENT FLIGHT EXPERIENCE AND THE AIRCRAFT FUEL STATE WHICH WAS NEAR EXHAUSTION. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOTS DECISION TO CONTINUE THE FLIGHT IN THE FACE OF A WEATHER BRIEIFING WHICH ADVISED AGAINST VFR FLIGHT, AND HIS DECISION NOT TO PROCEED TO AN ALTERNATE DESTINATION WITH BETTER WEATHER CONDITIONS AT A EARLIER STAGE IN THE FLIGHT.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001213X24915

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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