NTSB Identification: LAX95FA129.
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Accident occurred Friday, March 03, 1995 in OCEANSIDE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/19/1996
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-150, registration: N1260P
Injuries: 4 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.

THE PILOT CALLED FSS AT 0309 AND REQUESTED A WEATHER BRIEFING FROM NORTHERN CALIFORNIA TO SANTA ANA ONLY. THE FLIGHT DEPARTED ABOUT 0530 AND FLEW TO SANTA ANA TO PICK UP TWO PASSENGERS. THE WEATHER WAS MARGINAL VFR CONDITIONS WITH LOW CEILINGS AND COASTAL MOUNTAINS OBSCURED BY CLOUDS AND RAIN. THE FLIGHT DEPARTED SNA AT 0921 VFR EN ROUTE TO SAN DIEGO AND MEXICO. THE FLIGHT ADVISED APPROACH THAT THEY WERE VFR CLIMBING TO 3,500 TO STAY BELOW THE CLOUD DECK. ABOUT 3 MINUTES LATER THE PILOT STATED 'GOING TO LEVEL OFF HERE.' RADAR INDICATED 1,300 FEET MSL. ABOUT 5 MINUTES LATER RADAR CONTACT WAS LOST. APPROACH ADVISED THE PILOT TO 'ATTEMPT CONTACT LONG RIFLE (USMC RESTRICTED AIRSPACE) ON 132.2', WHICH WAS THE WRONG FREQUENCY FOR THE RESTRICTED AIRSPACE. THE PILOT CALLED THE WRONG FREQUENCY TWICE AND WAS COVERED BY OTHER AIRCRAFT AT ANOTHER FACILITY. THE WRECKAGE WAS LOCATED ON THE USMC MILITARY RESERVATION ON A RIDGE AT ABOUT 1,475 FEET MSL.

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

THE PILOT'S INTENTIONAL VFR FLIGHT INTO KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER. THE LOW CEILING WAS A FACTOR.

Full narrative available

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