January 2, 2011, Benton, Penn., Piper PA-28-161 Warrior


At about 1917 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged following an in-flight collision with trees and terrain. The solo private pilot sustained serious injuries. Night instrument conditions were present.

The pilot was performing the return leg of a night cross-country for a commercial pilot certificate. The pilot performed a touch-and-go landing at Williamsport, Penn., and was eastbound to Wilkes-Barre, Penn. While en route, the airplane crashed in a remote, wooded area at an elevation of about 2200 feet. The pilot told a local law enforcement official he was trying to maneuver under a cloud when the accident occurred. The pilot held an instrument rating.


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