NTSB Identification: LAX96FA121.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 26, 1996 in JULIAN, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/17/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 172D, registration: N2598U
Injuries: 3 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 noninstrument rated pilot departed VFR. Instrument meteorological conditions were forecasted over the mountainous area near the destination airport. The pilot did not contact any FAA air traffic or FSS along the route of flight. The forecasted winds aloft show that the pilot would encounter between 40 and 50 knots headwind. Two AIRMETS for the accident area were issued by the National Weather Service. One AIRMET shows that the mountain ranges would be obscured with low clouds and fog; the other AIRMET reported moderate turbulence in the area. Radar data showed an airplane proceeding along the pilot's estimated route of flight. The last target was observed about 10 miles west of the crash site. The airplane crashed in a near vertical nose and right wing down attitude while in a right turn spin.

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

the pilot's continued VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin. The pilot's inadequate preflight/preparation, low clouds, fog, and mountain obscuration were factors in the accident.

Full narrative available

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