January 13, 2013, Dover, Del., Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow


At about 1842 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing following multiple attempts to land at several airports in the vicinity. The solo instrument-rated private pilot was fatally injured. Night instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was in effect. The flight originated in Sandersville, Ga.

The pilot had filed for Middletown, Del., as the flight’s destination. Approaches were attempted at Middletown, Salisbury, Md., Georgetown, Del., and Dover, Del., all of which resulted in executing a missed approach procedure. Subsequently, the pilot declared a fuel emergency and was being vectored to a nearby military base for landing. The airplane impacted a tree line in a field about two miles north of the field. Weather recorded at 1842 included four miles’ visibility with mist and an overcast ceiling of 400 feet agl, with temperature and dew point both eight degrees C.


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