NTSB Identification: LAX95LA221.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 23, 1995 in YERINGTON, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/19/1996
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N5363T
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

WHILE FLYING WITH TWO PASSENGERS ABOARD, THE PILOT ENTERED A CANYON AREA AT THE 9,500 FOOT LEVEL, AND ENCOUNTERED A SEVERE DOWNDRAFT IN THE VICINITY OF A 11,320 FOOT MOUNTAIN. THE AIRPLANE DESCENDED TO THE CANYON FLOOR, AND THE PILOT PROCEEDED AS LONG AS POSSIBLE BEFORE BEING FORCED TO LAND. THE DENSITY ALTITUDE WAS ABOUT 11,000 FEET. NO MECHANICAL PROBLEM WAS REPORTED. THE PILOT INDICATED THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN AT A HIGHER ALTITUDE AND SHOULD HAVE ENTERED THE TERRAIN AT A 45-DEGREE ANGLE FOR A BETTER ESCAPE ROUTE.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER IN-FLIGHT DECISION TO ENTER MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN AT AN INSUFFICIENT ALTITUDE TO SAFELY ESCAPE ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS. FACTORS RELATING TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE TERRAIN AND WEATHER CONDITIONS.

Full narrative available

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