NTSB Identification: LAX97FAMS2.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, February 11, 1997 in AVALON, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161, registration: N8436X
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.

According to a friend, the owner/pilot went on a whale watching/spotting flight, and when the aircraft failed to return by a scheduled time, a search was initiated. The aircraft was determined to have landed at Santa Catalina Island. Radar data was obtained for the approximate time of departure. A VFR transponder code, assumed to be the accident aircraft, was tracked after departure from the island. At 1519:19 radar contact was lost over the water. A search by the Coast Guard was unsuccessful. The aircraft was presumed to have crashed in ocean waters near Avalon, CA; pilot injury was presumed to have been fatal.

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

undetermined.

Full narrative available

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