NTSB Identification: LAX94FA116.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Monday, February 07, 1994 in LA JOLLA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/12/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 310R, registration: N1976Y
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT RECEIVED 2 WEATHER BRIEFINGS AND WAS INFORMED THAT VERY MOIST AND UNSTABLE AIR, PRECIPITATION, OCCASIONAL MODERATE TURBULENCE AND ISOLATED SEVERE TURBULENCE WAS FORECAST. MULTIPLE CLOUD LAYERS EXISTED; IT WAS A DARK NIGHT. THE PILOT DEPARTED CARRYING BANK CARGO AND BEGAN CLIMBING IN IMC TO 6,000 FEET IN A N-W DIRECTION PARALLELING THE COASTLINE. NEARBY, A PILOT IN ANOTHER LIGHT AIRPLANE EXPERIENCED MODERATE TURBULENCE AND HEAVY RAIN. THE ACCIDENT PILOT COMMENCED A S-W TURN INITIALLY PERPENDICULAR TO THE DESIRED COURSE. THEN, WHILE CONTINUING THE LEFT TURN RADAR CONTACT WAS LOST AS THE AIRPLANE SUDDENLY COMMENCED AN UNCONTROLLED DESCENT FROM 4,400 FEET TO SEA LEVEL IN ABOUT 1/4 MINUTE. THE MAIN WRECKAGE WAS FOUND 1,000 FEET BELOW SEA LEVEL ABOUT 0.2 MILES FROM ITS LAST RADAR POSITION. UNDERWATER VIDEO SHOWED THAT THE AIRPLANE HAD FRAGMENTED INTO OVER 200 PIECES. THE WRECKAGE WAS NOT RECOVERED.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane. Factors in the accident were the dark night lighting conditions, moderate to severe turbulence, and heavy rain.

Full narrative available

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