NTSB Identification: LAX95FA077.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Thursday, January 12, 1995 in PLEASANTON, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 208B, registration: N754FE
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.

A CESSNA 208B STRUCK A RIDGE LINE ABOUT 14 MILES FROM THE DESTINATION AIRPORT. THE PILOT REPORTED TO ATC HE HAD THE AIRPORT IN SIGHT FROM 7,000 FEET MSL MORE THAN 30 MILES AWAY. A WEATHER REPORTING STATION LOCATED 5 MILES EAST OF THE ACCIDENT SITE WAS REPORTING TWO CLOUD LAYERS; A SCATTERED LAYER AT 1,500 FEET AGL, AND A BROKEN LAYER AT 5,000 FEET AGL. THE AIRPLANE WAS DESCENDING AFTER THE PILOT WAS CLEARED FOR A VISUAL APPROACH. THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH A TREE AND THE GROUND IN A WINGS LEVEL ATTITUDE AT AN ELEVATION OF 1,500 FEET MSL. THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF MECHANICAL FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION FOUND WITH THE AIRPLANE.

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

failure of the pilot-in-command to maintain visual contact with terrain and sufficient altitude for terrain clearance. Factors in the accident were the pilot's decision to initiate a descent 14 miles from the airport, and weather, specifically cloud conditions and darkness.

Full narrative available

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