NTSB Identification: LAX97LA009.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, October 08, 1996 in JACKPOT, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30A, registration: N28172
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 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 departed the desert airport toward the south during a dark night with only 16 percent of the moon illuminated. According to the airport data sheet, terrain obstructions are located to the south and west of the airport. The center of town is located less than a mile east of the airport. The pilot said that he began a left turn shortly after takeoff and that was the last thing he could remember. A ground witness and the passenger said that the engine sounded normal. The wreckage examination disclosed that the airplane's left wing dragged the terrain during the left turn.

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

the pilot's inadvertent disorientation in dark night time conditions and failure to maintain a proper climbing attitude.

Full narrative available

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