NTSB Identification: LAX97LA127.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 19, 1997 in GILROY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/14/1997
Aircraft: Passadori Norman BREEZY, registration: N16KB
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 passenger, also an airline transport pilot, reported that the pilot had fueled the aircraft to capacity before takeoff. The passenger was in the rear seat of the 125-horsepower aircraft as they climbed from takeoff toward a ridge line separating them from their sightseeing destination. They were climbing slowly up a canyon at low altitude when the pilot acknowledged that the aircraft was not climbing fast enough to clear the ridge. The pilot attempted to reverse course, but during the turn the aircraft mushed and the right wing struck a tree. The aircraft then cartwheeled onto the ground. The passenger stated that there were no mechanical problems with the aircraft.

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

The pilot's delayed decision to reverse course while climbing into rising terrain, and his failure to maintain an adequate airspeed margin which resulted in a stall/mush into trees and terrain.

Full narrative available

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