Sept. 3, South Kingstown, R.I. / Piper Saratoga


At 13:46 eastern time, a Piper PA-32R-301 broke up in flight over South Kingstown, killing the three people and one dog aboard. The airplane was flying IFR from Chatham, Mass., to Philadelphia at 8,000 feet. No radio transmissions indicated there were any problems with the airplane. Transponder and radar returns showed the airplane departing cruise flight by making a descending 270-degree turn, then turning back about 30 degrees. During the turn, the descent rate increased from 1,300 fpm to 16,000 fpm. The stabilators and vertical fin were found some distance from the main wreckage. The heading indicator and the attitude indicator showed damage consistent with a loss of vacuum.


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