NTSB Identification: LAX98FA006.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 11, 1997 in JULIAN, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/16/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N67293
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 noninstrument rated pilot departed on a cross-country flight to Nevada following his receipt of a weather briefing that indicated multiple layers of clouds, and moderate to severe turbulence along the route in an unstable air mass. While climbing en route the pilot requested and received radar flight following service. About 15 minutes after takeoff, the pilot informed the radar controller that he was making a 180-degree turn. Radar data indicates that seconds following the pilot's transmission, the airplane commenced a rapid descent. During the final 60 seconds of recorded flight, the airplane descended from 7,200 to 4,500 feet. The airplane impacted a 3,400-foot msl hillside. Wreckage was found scattered over a 150-foot-long path, about 0.11 mile from its last radar position. Airborne and ground-based witnesses near the area reported the presence of an overcast sky condition with cloud bases near ground level and tops over 13,000 feet. The precipitation intensity varied between sprinkles to heavy rain showers.

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

The pilot's inadequate in-flight planning which resulted in VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions and the loss of aircraft control. Contributing was the pilot's overconfidence in his ability, clouds, and rain.

Full narrative available

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