NTSB Identification: LAX98LA059.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 20, 1997 in SAFFORD, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/28/2000
Aircraft: Mooney M20F, registration: N2965L
Injuries: 2 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 pilot tookoff for his destination after he had received a weather briefing that indicated the area was going to be marginal VFR with rain and snow showers. The pilot decided to try and make it through after spotting low lying clouds to the north of their intended route. He followed a paved road and thought he could remain clear of clouds. After he turned around a corner of a mountain he inadvertently entered the clouds. As he began a climbing left turn the aircraft hit a hill and small tree. The second pilot insisted they turn around three times, to no avail.

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

The pilot's poor in-flight judgement and intentional flight into known adverse weather conditions. Related factors were, mountainous terrain, rain and fog.

Full narrative available

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