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Sun, Apr 14, 2024

NTSB Prelim: Piper PA-32-260

Airplane Had Ascended To An Altitude Of 13,100 Ft MSL And Groundspeed Began To Decay From 118 Knots To 74 Knots

Location: Madras, OR Accident Number: WPR24FA105
Date & Time: March 10, 2024, 15:03 Local Registration: N3264W
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-260 Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On March 10, 2024, at 1503 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-32-260, N3264W, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Madras, Oregon. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

Preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) data showed that the flight departed from Aurora State Airport (UAO), Aurora, Oregon, at 1405, and proceeded on an easterly flight path as it ascended to 10,000 ft mean sea level (msl). At 1502 the airplane had ascended to an altitude of 13,100 ft msl and groundspeed began to decay from 118 knots to 74 knots. The data further showed at 1502:10, the airplane was at an altitude of 13,300 msl and entered a descending right turn. The last recorded ADS-B data point was at 1503:28 at an altitude of 4,700 ft msl, about 0.2 miles southwest of the accident site.

At 1503, a power utility company experienced a powerline surge, and sent a crew to investigate. At 1940, the crew discovered wreckage of an airplane, and alerted local authorities.

Two witnesses located about 3 miles northwest of the accident site, reported they observed the airplane descending in a spiraling motion towards the ground. One of the witnesses noted that the airplane was intact at the time. Another witness reported there were rain showers in the area when they heard the loud engine noise of the airplane.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane struck a static wire that spanned between two 100-ft tall high tension powerline towers, and subsequently impacted terrain between the towers. The debris path measured approximately 300 ft from the initial point of impact with the ground and was oriented on an approximate heading of about 130° magnetic.

All the major structural components of the airplane were located within the wreckage debris path. A portion of the static wire was found near the right wing. 

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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