Apr. 1, Tallahassee, Fla. / Piper PA-34-200 Seneca


At 15:48 EST, a Piper PA-34-200 crashed during takeoff from runway 27 at Tallahassee International Airport and the pilot was killed. The pilot reportedly had arrived from Fort Lauderdale for refueling en route to Memphis. The pilot of another aircraft saw the Seneca enter a right 45-degree bank and, turning through a 360-degree magnetic heading with the nose about 30 degrees up, it stalled. At approximately the same time, the pilot radioed that he was having a problem and wanted to return but he never stated the problem. The airplane suddenly started losing altitude and appeared to have stalled a second time. The witness stated that the stabilator appeared to be full pitch up. Both propellers appeared to be turning throughout the entire sequence. Just before colliding with the ground, the aircraft was in a 20 to 30 degree right bank with a 50 to 60 degree nose-down attitude. A review of the fire damaged maintenance logs disclosed that the airplane had been issued a ferry permit for the flight from St. Vincent, West Indies, to Fort Lauderdale only. At about 21:00, the hangar where the airframe wreckage was secured was broken into.


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