N7890P accident descriptionGo to the Illinois map...
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|Accident date||November 02, 1997|
|Aircraft type||Piper PA-24-250|
NTSB descriptionOn November 2, 1997, at 1730 central standard time (cst), a Piper PA-24-250, N7890P, operated by a private pilot, was destroyed when while maneuvering close to the ground, the airplane's left wing struck a tree. The airplane subsequently rolled inverted and impacted the terrain, 10 miles north of Robinson, Illinois. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. There was no flight plan on file. The pilot was fatally injured. The cross-country flight originated at Roanoke, Virginia, at 1520 eastern standard time (est), and was en route to Hannibal, Missouri.
At approximately 1720 cst, a witness heard the airplane approach at a very low altitude, traveling south to north. The witness observed the airplane continue to the north until it disappeared.
Approximately a minute later, the witness saw the airplane again, heading west. The witness observed the airplane until it disappeared behind some trees. The witness said that he did not hear the airplane crash or observe any fire. The witness described the weather at the time he saw the airplane as rainy and windy with very bad visibility.
There were no witnesses to the airplane accident.
The pilot's wife reported the airplane overdue on November 3, 1997. The wreckage was discovered by an individual who was taking soil samples in the field, on November 4, 1997, at 1450 cst.
The pilot was not instrument rated. The pilot's logbook indicated that as of October 31, 1997, he had logged a total flight time of 267.2 hours, all in single engine land airplanes. No flight time was logged in actual weather conditions.
The weather observation reported by the Flight Service Station at Terre Haute, Indiana (38 miles north-northeast of the accident site), on November 2, 1997, at 1745 est (1645 cst), was few clouds at 2,400 feet above ground level (agl), a broken ceiling at 3,300 feet agl, an overcast ceiling at 5,000 feet agl, and rain showers.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane wreckage at the accident site, on November 5, 1997. The main wreckage rested inverted on the edge of a corn field, approximately 200 yards from a tree line which lined the opposite edge of the field. One of the trees had broken limbs and branches approximately 50 feet up from the base of the trunk. A ground scar was observed in the corn field approximately 50 yards from the tree line. A five- foot long section of the left wing, the left aileron and the wingtip was located just before the ground scar. It was crushed inward at the leading edge. Pieces of the windscreen, top of the fuselage, engine cowling and one propeller blade were found in and around the ground scar. The propeller blade had broken off at the base. It showed torsional bending. Approximately 45 feet from the ground scar was the top half of the vertical stabilizer and rudder. It was bent aft and broken. Proceeding across the field and tracking to the main wreckage, were pieces of the instrument panel, flight instruments, the left outboard one-half of the left horizontal stabilizer and elevator, part of the engine cowling, the right horizontal stabilizer and elevator, and the inboard section of the left wing. Beginning 50 yards back from the main wreckage were scattered personal effects, the right horizontal stabilizer and elevator, and the tailcone. The main wreckage rested at the remains of a sheared tree trunk on the edge of the corn field. Debris from the tree was inter-mixed with the wreckage. The main wreckage consisted of the right wing, the fuselage, the engine and remaining propeller blade. The fuselage was broken open and bent aft. The propeller blade showed torsional bending and tip curling. Flight control continuity was confirmed. No anomalies were revealed from the examination of the engine, engine controls or other airplane systems.