NTSB Identification: LAX95FA072.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 03, 1995 in TEHACHAPI, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/13/1996
Aircraft: CESSNA A185F, registration: N94296
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.

FAMILY MEMBERS SAID THAT, BEFORE FLIGHT, THE NONINSTRUMENT-RATED PILOT HAD OBTAINED WEATHER INFORMATION FROM A COMMERCIAL COMPUTER SERVICE (COMPUSERVE); HOWEVER, NO RECORDS WERE FOUND TO VERIFY THE COMPLETENESS OF THE WEATHER INFORMATION THAT HE HAD RECEIVED. CLOUDS AND RAIN WERE FORECAST ALONG THE ROUTE WITH MOUNTAIN OBSCURATION DUE TO CLOUDS, FOG, AND PRECIPITATION. ACCORDING TO MODE C RADAR DATA, THE AIRPLANE DESCENDED TO ABOUT 200 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND AS IT ENTERED TEHACHAPI PASS. TWO GROUND WITNESSES REPORTED THAT THEY SAW THE AIRPLANE ABOUT 100 FEET ABOVE AND TO THE NORTH SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY THAT TRAVERSED THE PASS. THEY COULD BARELY SEE THE AIRCRAFT DUE TO CLOUDS AND SNOW SHOWERS. REPORTEDLY, THE AIRPLANE BEGAN A LEFT TURN, AND THEN THE NOSE OF THE AIRPLANE PITCHED UP AS THE WINGS CONTINUED INTO A STEEP BANK. THE AIRCRAFT THEN PITCHED NOSE DOWN AND CRASHED INTO THE GROUND.

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

THE NONINSTRUMENT-RATED PILOT'S CONTINUED FLIGHT INTO KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE AIRSPEED WHILE MANEUVERING TO REVERSE DIRECTION. FACTORS RELATING TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN, AND ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS.

Full narrative available

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