1967 N3381W Piper Cherokee crash

The 1967 N3381W Piper Cherokee crash occurred on August 27, 1967 when a Piper Cherokee Six, tail number N3381W, crashed into the radio tower shared by WCBS-AM and WNBC-AM (both now owned by CBS Radio) on High Island, New York in the United States. All six people on board, including the pilot, were killed. The crash destroyed the antenna tower just hours before CBS Chairman William S. Paley debuted his highly-successful all-news format later known as "Newsradio 880".
According to the New York Times and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report on the accident, Peter Barris, a private pilot with 60 hours of piloting experience, took the aircraft from LaGuardia Airport in New York City without authorization after bad weather had prompted his aircraft rental company to ground its fleet. After landing successfully at East Hampton Airport on Long Island, Barris took off with five passengers for the return flight to LaGuardia.
By the time the plane reached the vicinity of LaGuardia, torrential rain, low visibility and a low flight ceiling meant the weather, as forecast, did not meet visual meteorological conditions. As Barris was not instrument-rated, he was not authorized to fly in such conditions. Circling over the airport, the aircraft collided with the 541-foot (165-meter) radio tower, plunged into Long Island Sound and then sank. All aboard were killed.
The NTSB's investigation found the probable cause of the accident to be the under-qualified pilot's failure to see and avoid the radio tower due to the adverse weather conditions.



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