NTSB Identification: LAX98FA199.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, June 16, 1998 in VAN NUYS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Mooney M20R, registration: N130RB
Injuries: 2 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 non-instrument rated private pilot departed at dawn for a 1,300-mile cross country flight. There was no FAA record of the pilot obtaining a preflight weather briefing. The weather at the departure airport was a ceiling of 900 feet overcast with visibility 3 miles in fog and light drizzle. Radar data indicated a right climbing turn to 2,200 feet, then an abrupt maneuver followed by a rapid descent into a residential area. The airplane's gross weight was exceeded by an estimated 165 pounds. The airplane was equipped for instrument flight, including an autopilot; however, the pilot had no known instrument flight training. Post-accident airframe and engine examinations failed to find evidence of mechanical failures.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the non-instrument rated pilot's intentional VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions. Factors were the low ceiling, drizzle, and fog. Full narrative available
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