NTSB Identification: LAX94LA091.
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Accident occurred Monday, January 10, 1994 in SAN MARTIN, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/1994
Aircraft: CESSNA P210N, registration: N5384W
Injuries: 2 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot said that as the aircraft entered the initial climb after rotation, the airspeed began decreasing. He lowered the nose slightly to counter the decreasing airspeed and the aircraft hit the ground shortly thereafter. FBO personnel at the airport said the pilot attempted to takeoff with ground visibility of 150 feet in heavy fog. The FBO line person who fueled the aircraft just prior to departure stated that he had to 'scrape ice away from the fuel filler ports on the wings in order to open the fuel caps.' The line person said the ice was like frozen dew and very rough in character. An FAA inspector stated that he found a series of propeller slashes in the ground just beyond the end of the runway. A path of ground scars led through a damaged fence and terminated at the aircraft wreckage about one eighth of a mile from the runway end. No discrepancies were noted in the examination of the aircraft or engine.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot's improper aircraft preflight inspection, and his failure to use pitot heat during the takeoff in icing conditions, which led to a blocked pitot tube. The blockage resulted in erroneous airspeed indications during the initial climb, which induced the pilot to reduce the aircraft pitch attitude to a point where the aircraft entered an uncorrected descent to ground impact.

Full narrative available

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