NTSB Identification: LAX94FA282.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 12, 1994 in RUNNING SPRINGS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N64193
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.
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 PILOTS PLANNED TO CLIMB IN A SERIES OF 360-DEGREE TURNS AND THEN DEPART THE AREA THROUGH A MOUNTAIN PASS AREA. THE SURVIVING PILOT SAID AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR A CABIN THAT WAS LOCATED IN THE AREA. THE PILOT SAID HE FELT THE AIRCRAFT BEING FORCED DOWN AS IF IT HAD BEEN 'STEPPED ON' JUST PRIOR TO THE CRASH. WITNESSES NEAR THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT TWICE REPORTED SEEING AN AIRCRAFT MATCHING THE DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCIDENT AIRCRAFT FOR ABOUT 3 MINUTES. THE WITNESSES STATED THAT ON BOTH OCCASIONS THEY OBSERVED THE AIRCRAFT PERFORMING LOW-LEVEL MANEUVERS DESCRIBED AS A SERIES OF CLIMBS, TURNS, AND DESCENTS WHICH AT TIMES WERE ESTIMATED TO HAVE BEEN PERFORMED WITHIN 50 FEET OF STEEP TERRAIN NEAR THE 4,540 FOOT LEVEL. AT TIMES THEY LOST SIGHT OF THE AIRCRAFT AS IT DESCENDED BELOW HIGHER TERRAIN. ONE OF THE WITNESSES STATED THAT HE THOUGHT THE AIRCRAFT WAS 'CHASING JACK RABBITS.'
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the flying pilot's operation of the aircraft at an altitude that did not provide sufficient terrain clearance necessary to recover from an inadvertent, pilot-induced stall. Full narrative available
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