NTSB Identification: LAX95FA217.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 18, 1995 in VIDAL JUNCTION, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/1996
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N739KJ
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.

THE PILOT HAD RENTED THE AIRPLANE FOR AN EARLY EVENING FLIGHT IN THE AREA OF THE COLORADO RIVER AND MOHAVE DESERT. THE WRECKAGE WAS SUBSEQUENTLY FOUND IN THE MOHAVE DESERT, WHERE IT HAD IMPACTED MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN AT THE 2,100-FOOT LEVEL OF A 2,695-FOOT MOUNTAIN SURROUNDED BY RELATIVELY LEVEL TERRAIN. THE AIRPLANE WAS IN LEVEL CRUISE FLIGHT ON A MAGNETIC HEADING OF 280 DEGREES DURING IMPACT. THE SETTING SUN WAS AT 6.0 DEGREES ABOVE THE HORIZON ON A MAGNETIC BEARING OF 280.9 DEGREES.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain an altitude adequate to avoid the mountainous/hilly terrain. Contributing to the accident was the glare from the setting sun.

Full narrative available

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