NTSB Identification: LAX95FA078.
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Accident occurred Saturday, January 14, 1995 in WRIGHTWOOD, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 182R, registration: N9706E
Injuries: 3 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 CIVIL AIR PATROL (CAP) CREW WAS CONDUCTING A SEARCH AND RESCUE MISSION IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. AFTER 40 MINUTES OF FLIGHT TIME, THE PILOT REPORTED 'OPS NORMAL' TO CAP OPERATIONS. ANOTHER AIRCRAFT, WHICH WAS CONDUCTING A GRID SEARCH IN AN ADJACENT AREA, REPORTED HEARING AN ELT SIGNAL 25 MINUTES LATER. REPEATED ATTEMPTS TO CONTACT THE ACCIDENT AIRCRAFT BY RADIO WERE UNSUCCESSFUL. LOCALIZED WEATHER CONDITIONS WITH STRONG WINDS, DOWNDRAFTS, AND TURBULENCE WERE NOTED BY OTHER SEARCH AIRCRAFT AND PILOT WITNESSES FLYING IN THE AREA AT THE TIME. THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED NEAR THE CREST OF A RIDGE AND WAS FOUND ORIENTED VERTICALLY TO THE HORIZON. EXTENSIVE AND FULL SPAN REARWARD LEADING EDGE CRUSH DEFORMATION WAS OBSERVED ON BOTH WINGS. NO AIRFRAME OR ENGINE DISCREPANCIES WERE FOUND DURING THE INVESTIGATION.

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

the pilot's loss of aircraft control and subsequent inadvertent stall/spin following an encounter with a localized mountain wave condition and turbulence while conducting a search mission in close proximity to mountainous terrain.

Full narrative available

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