Date & Time: Jun 5, 1990 at 1802 LT
Type of aircraft:
Piper PA-31 Cheyenne
Landing (descent or approach)
Survey / Patrol / Reconnaissance
Ponta Delgada - Horta
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Aircraft flight hours:
The twin engine airplane departed Ponta Delgada Airport at 1449LT on a survey flight over the Atlantic ocean to trace shoals of tuna, carrying two passengers, one observer and one pilot. At 1751LT, the mission was over and the pilot was cleared to descend to Horta Airport. On final approach to runway 29, after being cleared to land, the aircraft entered a right turn then lost height and crashed 600 meters to the right of the runway 29 extended centerline. The aircraft was totally destroyed and all four occupants were killed.
It is believed that the loss of control following an unexpected right turn on short final was the consequence of a temporary disability of the pilot who probably suffered an aortic rupture. Nevertheless, the following hypothesis were not ruled out: asphyxia to carbon monoxide, convulsion or a heart attack.