NTSB Identification: LAX94LA152.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 06, 1994 in JACKPOT, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/1994
Aircraft: CESSNA 210-5A, registration: N4810U
Injuries: 1 Fatal,3 Serious.

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 accident occurred during the hours of darkness and no moon was visible. The Jackpot airport is in an area of rolling hills and the only ground reference lights are in the immediate area of the runway and the adjacent casino. The pilot did not have an instrument rating. In his written statement, the pilot said that he did not experience a mechanical failure or malfunction. He reported that he lifted off runway 15 and began a 400-foot per minute climb at a normal airspeed, then began a left turn. The pilot stated that the attitude indicator was showing slightly less than a 20-degree bank turn as the heading indicator was going through 100 degrees when 'we dropped out of the sky.' An FAA inspector interviewed the pilot shortly after the accident. The pilot reported that as he initiated a crosswind turn after take off from runway 15, he lost visual reference with the horizon. No mechanical discrepancies were noted during an examination of the aircraft.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain control of the aircraft's flight path while maneuvering after takeoff in an area of no ground reference lights. Factors in the accident were the pilot's lack of instrument flight experience and the dark nighttime lighting conditions.

Full narrative available

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