NTSB Identification: LAX94LA003.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 01, 1993 in CLEAR LAKE RES, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/20/1994
Aircraft: CESSNA 182H, registration: N8397S
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Uninjured.

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 (PIC) REPORTED THAT HE & ANOTHER PILOT (PASSENGER) FLEW TO A FRESH WATER RESERVOIR. HE SAID THAT EN ROUTE, THEY 'TOOK TURNS DOING WING OVERS AND TIGHT TURNS.' HE SAID THEY DECIDED TO MAKE A 360 DEGREE TURN OVER THE WATER, THEN FLY BACK TO THE DEPARTURE AIRPORT. THE PIC INDICATED THAT WHILE TURNING OVER GLASSY WATER, THE WATER, SUN, HAZE & COLOR OF THE BACKGROUND TERRAIN RESULTED IN AN OPTICAL ILLUSION. HE SAID HE LOST REFERENCE TO THE HORIZON, AND THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH THE WATER ABOUT HALF WAY THROUGH THE TURN. THE PILOT SURVIVED THE ACCIDENT. HE EGRESSED FROM THE AIRPLANE AS IT WAS SINKING, BUT WAS UNABLE TO RESCUE THE OTHER OCCUPANT. NO MECHANICAL PROBLEM WITH THE AIRPLANE WAS REPORTED.

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

FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN ALTITUDE, WHILE PERFORMING A LOW-ALTITUDE MANEUVER (TURN) OVER WATER. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: SUN GLARE, HAZE, GLASSY CONDITION OF THE WATER, AND THE LACK OF VISUAL CUES (VISUAL PERCEPTION) FOR THE PILOT TO JUDGE ALTITUDE AND KEEP REFERENCE TO THE HORIZON.

Full narrative available

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