NTSB Identification: LAX99GA005.
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Accident occurred Monday, October 05, 1998 in BANNING, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/15/1999
Aircraft: Grumman TS-2A, registration: N416DF
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 public aircraft accident report.

The air tanker pilot was on a fire suppression mission with fire retardant chemicals aboard, and had made two previous drops on the fire line. Another tanker and spotter pilot witnessed the last drop approach, and reported that the pilot was turning from base leg to the westerly drop heading downwind while in a 60-degree left bank. The aircraft suddenly rolled left to 90 degrees, and at that point the left wing tip struck the terrain. The winds were estimated by the tanker pilots to be 25 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 plus from the east. The pilots also reported turbulence and bad air. Airmet Tango was issued for turbulence and isolated severe conditions mainly below 10,000 in the vicinity of canyons and passes.

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

The pilot misjudged his maneuvering altitude. Factors to this accident were the mountainous terrain, tailwind conditions, and turbulence in the area.

Full narrative available

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