May 2, 2010, New Albany, Ind., Piper PA-46


The airplane sustained substantial damage on impact with terrain at about 2021 Eastern time. Instrument conditions prevailed. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The flight was on an IFR flight plan en route to Louisville, Ky.

Preliminary radar data show the airplanes speed decreased as it descended to an assigned altitude of 4000 feet and a heading of 050 degrees. The speed continued to decrease while maintaining 4000 feet. At 3900 feet, the speed decreased to 108 knots with a heading of 031 degrees. The next recorded radar return showed an altitude of 3000 feet, airspeed of 88 knots, and heading of 022 degrees.

A witness reported that the airplane approached from the southeast with a “loud” engine sound. The airplane then went “upside down” and entered a “spiral nose-dive.” The witness also reported that there was no smoke or fire from the airplane.


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