February 23, Vero Beach, FL / Piper Cherokee 180


At 1145 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-180 broke up in flight over the Fort Drum Wildlife Management Reserve. The pilot and passenger were killed. The airplane was on an IFR flight plan in IMC when the accident occurred. Most of the wreckage was found within 500 feet of the fuselage, but the right aileron and flap were not located. Other pilots in the area reported encountering severe turbulence at about the time of the accident. One pilot stated that his airplane lost a thousand feet of altitude and almost flipped over. Other pilots were asking controllers to get them out of the area and assign them a lower altitude.


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