Preliminary Accident Reports

December 2004 Issue

September 9, 2004, Rachel, Texas / Piper PA-32R-300

At approximately 0614 Central time, the airplane was destroyed after impacting terrain following loss of control while maneuvering near Rachel, Texas. The pilot, sole occupant of the airplane was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed for the Part 135 cargo flight, which originated in San Antonio, Texas, and was destined for McAllen, Texas. Preliminary radar data show the airplane cruising at 9000 feet MSL at 0537 when the pilot requested to descend to 7000 feet. Almost 20 minutes later, the pilot reported losing his vacuum system and then requested a descent to 5000 feet. Radar data depicted the airplane passing through 6600 feet at 0606. At 0613, the pilot requested to divert to...

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