NTSB Identification: LAX96FA052.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, November 22, 1995 in GRAND CANYON, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/22/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 210L, registration: N5138Q
Injuries: 2 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.

There were no witnesses to the nighttime departure accident. In response to an emergency locator transmitter signal, the aircraft was located 3/4 mile off the departure end of the runway. The aircraft had impacted level terrain in a nose-low, left wing-low attitude. Local pilots report that the departure area is devoid of lighting at night and is a black hole requiring flight by reference to instruments after takeoff. The recently licensed private pilot had trained in a Cessna 172 and had 3.2 hours of night flight time and 1 hour of simulated instrument flight time. His 20-flight-hour checkout in the accident aircraft, which was also his high performance aircraft checkout, was completed the day before the accident. The checkout was conducted in daylight, visual flight conditions, and did not include any actual or simulated instrument flight.

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

the pilot's loss of aircraft control as a result of spatial disorientation. Factors were: the pilot's lack of experience in instrument and night flight conditions, inadequate transition/upgrade training, and the dark night light condition.

Full narrative available

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