Preliminary Accident Reports

April 2011 Issue

February 10, 2011, Baltimore, Md., Piper PA-31-350

At about 2027 Eastern time, a Piper PA-31-350 was substantially damaged while in cruise flight. The solo airline transport pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed. About 30 minutes into the flight, while cruising at 7000 feet msl on autopilot, the airplane’s nose pitched down slightly. The airplane then pitched up slightly, followed by a downward pitch event, resulting in a 200-foot altitude deviation. The pilot disengaged the autopilot, re-leveled the airplane at 7000 feet and re-engaged the autopilot.

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