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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 152475
Last updated: 5 September 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA34 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II
Registration: N6537C
MSN: 34-7870164
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Croatan Sound, near Maneo, NC -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Sanford, NC (TTA)
Destination airport:Manteo, NC (MQI)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The weather at the destination airport had reduced visibility and low drifting fog. According to the passenger, the flight was normal; the pilot acknowledged the reduced visibility report at the destination airport that was relayed by a pilot that landed ahead of the accident airplane. During the instrument approach, when the airplane descended through clouds, the pilot realized that the airplane was too far down the runway to safely land. The pilot then elected to enter a visual low traffic pattern rather than execute a missed approach procedure. However, the passenger stated that the barometric pressure was not reset during the approach. Thus, although the altimeters indicated that the airplane was at 410 ft mean sea level (msl) on the downwind leg, it was actually flying about 260 ft msl in the airport pattern before impacting water. Examination of the airplane wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have prevented normal operation. Although a prohibited medical drug was found the in the blood and urine of the pilot, the amounts found were not enough to be impairing. The pilot had a total flight experience of about 387 hours of which about 17 hours were in actual instrument meteorological conditions. The restricted visibility conditions at the time of the accident would have been conducive to the development of spatial disorientation.
Probable Cause: The pilot's attempted visual flight in instrument meteorological conditions while maneuvering at a low altitude in the traffic pattern, which resulted in spatial disorientation and impact with the water. Contributing was the pilot's lack of experience flying in actual instrument meteorological conditions.



FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

13-Jan-2013 12:57 gerard57 Added
13-Jan-2013 13:58 gerard57 Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
14-Jan-2013 02:14 TB Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Location, Phase]
14-Jan-2013 06:57 Anon. Updated [Phase, Narrative]
14-Jan-2013 08:38 bizjets101 Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Departure airport]
14-Jan-2013 11:00 gerard57 Updated [Source, Narrative]
14-Jan-2013 18:53 Geno Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
28-Nov-2017 14:06 ASN Update Bot Updated [Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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