June 14, Osteen, Fla. / Piper Malibu


At about 2039 eastern time, a Piper PA-46-310P suffered a loss of control and in-flight breakup near Osteen, killing the pilot and two passengers. The pilot asked the Miami Center controller if he could deviate 12 miles west because he thought he could see a hole in the weather. The controller asked him to fly a heading of 170. The pilot said that heading would put him into weather he was trying to avoid. He was told to change frequencies and checked in on the new frequency. However, the airplane disappeared from radar on the next sweep. Radar showed a rapid descent from FL 260. Witnesses reported the airplane spiraling out of the clouds with one wing missing.


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