NTSB Identification: LAX95LA001.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 01, 1994 in RAMONA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/16/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 170B, registration: N170CT
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

AFTER DEPARTING THE AIRPORT ON RUNWAY 27, THE NONINSTRUMENTED RATED PILOT TURNED LEFT AFTER CLIMBING SEVERAL HUNDRED FEET. THE WITNESS ON THE GROUND LOST VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE AIRCRAFT POSITION LIGHTS AFTER THE LEFT TURN. OTHERS ON THE GROUND REPORTED THEY HEARD THE AIRCRAFT FLYING LOW OVERHEAD. ENGINE SOUNDS WERE REPORTED UNTIL THE TIME OF IMPACT. THE AIRCRAFT CRASHED APPROXIMATELY 1 1/2 MILES SOUTHWEST FROM THE AIRPORT. ONE WITNESS REPORTED THAT THE PILOT HAD OBTAINED A TELEPHONE WEATHER BRIEFING PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. A CHECK OF FAA FLIGHT SERVICE FACILITIES RECORDS DID NOT IDENTIFY A RECORD OF THE BRIEFING GIVEN TO THE PILOT. TWO WITNESSES NEAR THE ACCIDENT SITE ESTIMATED THE BASE OF THE CLOUDS TO HAVE BEEN APPROXIMATELY 150 FEET AGL AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT, WITH THE VISIBILITY LESS THAN 3 MILES DUE TO FOG.

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

the noninstrument-rated pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control due to spatial disorientation after encountering instrument meteorological conditions after the pilot decided to takeoff in adverse weather conditions. A factor in the accident was the dark nighttime lighting conditions and the pilot's lack of recent experience.

Full narrative available

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