NTSB Identification: LAX96FA200.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 19, 1996 in KERNVILLE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 414, registration: N111AH
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.
Recorded radar data showed the aircraft was flying in an area of mountainous terrain. Mountain tops in the area were reported to be obscured. Radar data showed that the aircraft first descended to a low altitude as it flew up a valley, then it climbed until impacting rising terrain about 7,200 feet msl. Wreckage was scattered over 300 feet up the mountain slope. About 32 miles southwest at Bakersfield (elevation 507 feet), the 1000 pdt weather was in part: 4500 feet scattered, 6000 feet overcase, visibility 20 miles, wind from 260 degrees at 10 knots. Nearby residents reported that the mountain was obscured in clouds at the time of the accident. During postmortem toxicology tests, a low level of ethanol (23 mg/dl) was detected in muscle fluid specimen, probably from post-mortem production. No ethanol was detected in brain fluid.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: VFR flight by the pilot into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), and his failure to maintain sufficient altitude/clearance from rising/mountainous terrain. Factors relating to the accident were: the terrain and weather conditions. Full narrative available
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