Preliminary Accident Reports

May 2003 Issue

February 06, Florence, S.C. / Piper Comanche

At 1853 eastern time, a Piper PA-24-250 crashed while maneuvering near Florence. The pilot and two passengers were killed. The instructor-certificated pilot, an instructor passenger and a third passenger were flying from Ormond Beach, Fla., to Bennettsville, S.C., at 5,300 feet when the pilot contacted Florence controllers and asked if there was any VFR weather to the north. The pilot then elected to proceed to Fayetteville, N.C. The controller instructed the pilot to descend to 5,000 feet and join victor airway 56, but shortly afterward the airplane’s Mode C altitude indicated 800 feet and the controller advised the pilot to climb. The pilot replied by requesting a diversion to Florence Reg...

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