NTSB Identification: LAX96LA224.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 07, 1996 in SANTA CLARITA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Robinson R22 BETA, registration: N40009
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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

The pilot was making a pinnacle approach to the leeward side of a ridge. As he approached his touchdown point his airspeed was slowing to just above effective translational lift (ETL) when the aircraft was caught in a downdraft. He attempted to maneuver the aircraft but was unable to stop his decent or redirect his forward movement. The aircraft undershot the approach and struck the side of the ridge. The pilot said he had performed a high reconnaissance orbit and had monitored ATIS surface winds.

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

the pilot's failure to abandon the pinnacle approach after encountering an excessive rate of descent.

Full narrative available

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