March 7, 2007, Tooele, Utah, Piper PA-28-235


The airplane sustained an in-flight structural failure at about 2135 Mountain time, breaking apart and fatally injuring the Flight Instructor and two passengers aboard. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses took off behind the accident airplane and observed it in front of them, flying the same basic route. While at 7500 feet, they were below the accident airplane. They observed it turn to the north, and then could not see its lights anymore. They proceeded on course, and encountered several sharp bumps from turbulence east of the accident site. The wreckage was found the next day, covering about 0.6 mile on a heading of 157 degrees. The first identified major piece of wreckage was the right horizontal stabilator. All major portions of the airplane were recovered, with the inverted engine, propeller and fuselage found 2600 feet along the debris path. The stabilators had been permanently deformed in a downward direction while the wings were deformed in an upward direction.


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