NTSB Identification: LAX97LA071.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 22, 1996 in JULIAN, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: FARHAT RV6A, registration: N961CP
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 received a full preflight weather briefing and an update briefing before takeoff. The briefings included information from a SIGMET and 3 AIRMETS, forecasting moderate to severe turbulence and icing along his route of flight. The conditions were expected to improve overnight; however, the pilot elected to depart that day. While en route, he reported icing conditions and requested a lower altitude. Shortly after receiving clearance to a lower altitude, the pilot reported being unable to hold the new altitude. He was asked if he could maintain terrain obstruction clearance, but he replied that he was in clouds. The pilot was then asked to try to maintain the minimum vectoring altitude (MVA) and to fly a heading that would keep him in that sector. The pilot was assigned a new heading and reminded of the MVA, but his responses were unintelligible. Contact with the pilot was lost. Subsequently, the aircraft impacted terrain at an elevation of about 4,600 ft. Wreckage was scattered over a distance of about 150 ft. An NTSB weather study identified conditions that were conducive for clouds, turbulence, windshear, and icing. The aircraft was not equipped with anti-icing or deicing equipment.

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

flight by the pilot into known adverse weather conditions, which resulted in the accumulation of airframe ice and an inability to maintain clearance (proper altitude) from mountainous terrain. Moderate to severe icing conditions in clouds, turbulence, and mountainous terrain were related factors.

Full narrative available

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