NTSB Identification: LAX97FA148.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 06, 1997 in S. LAKE TAHOE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N64845
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.

The student pilot was on an authorized round-robin cross-country flight with several intermediate landings. He had made 1 landing at the first airport, and 3 landings at the second airport, having a density altitude of about 6,700 feet. He then took off but did not follow the published (recommended) departure procedures for gaining altitude. He did, however, proceed along his flight plan route directly toward the next authorized landing site. The route was over terrain which required the airplane to climb at a rate which exceeded its published maximum performance. After climbing about 4 minutes the airplane collided with trees and impacted the snow covered mountainside about 7,840 feet msl. The CFI reported that he had personally authorized his student to make the flight, but told him to change the route from what the student had initially selected (accident route) to one over lower terrain. The CFI had not flown with the student in 3 months nor had he provided dual cross-country training in nearly 6 months. Also, the CFI had not provided his student with high density altitude flight training in the geographical area flown. Prior to the student's departure, the CFI had not reviewed with him the latest forecast weather conditions or ensured that the pencil line depicting the route of flight was drawn away from the higher elevation mountainous terrain.

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

The pilot's collision with mountainous terrain due to his failure to follow published high density altitude departure procedures during climb out, and route selection which exceeded the airplane's maximum climb performance specifications. Also causal was the CFI's inadequate flight supervision and improper approval of his student's preflight preparation and route selection. Factors were: the pilot's inadequate preflight planning, his lack of high density altitude training for the area flown, and the high density altitude.

Full narrative available

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