NTSB Identification: LAX95LA263.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 21, 1995 in KNEELAND, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/1996
Aircraft: CESSNA 182P, registration: N9437M
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

FOLLOWING A WEATHER BRIEFING IN WHICH HE WAS ADVISED OF THE FOG AND MULTIPLE LAYERED CLOUD CONDITIONS, THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT ELECTED TO TAKEOFF FROM AN AIRPORT IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. GROUND WITNESSES SAID THE VISIBILITY WAS ABOUT 2,000 FEET WHEN THE PILOT DEPARTED, AND THAT THE AIRCRAFT DISAPPEARED INTO THE CLOUDS ABOUT 50 FEET ABOVE GROUND. SHORTLY THEREAFTER, THE ENGINE RPM WAS HEARD TO INCREASE FOLLOWED BY A THUD NOISE. THE AIRPLANE WAS FOUND A DAY LATER ABOUT 1 MILE NORTHWEST OF THE AIRPORT AT AN ELEVATION ABOUT 1,500 FEET BELOW THE AIRPORT ELEVATION. THE SEARCH FOR THE AIRPLANE WAS IMPEDED BY THE FOGGY WEATHER CONDITIONS.

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

the non-instrument rated pilot's decision to takeoff in known adverse weather conditions, which resulted in spatial disoreintation and an in-flight loss of control.

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