NTSB Identification: LAX94FA047.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Monday, November 15, 1993 in BREA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-30, registration: N8238Y
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 AIRPLANE WAS OBSERVED FLYING OVER ROLLING HILL TERRAIN AT A LOW ALTITUDE WHEN IT ENCOUNTERED A BUNDLE OF HELIUM BALLOONS. A POPPING NOISE WAS HEARD FOLLOWED BY THE AIRPLANE ENTERING A VERTICAL DIVE WHICH CONTINUED TO GROUND IMPACT. THE AIRPLANE STRUCK THE GROUND IN A 75-DEGREE NOSE-DOWN ATTITUDE SPREADING THE WRECKAGE IN A DIRECTION OPPOSITE THE FLIGHT PATH BEFORE ENCOUNTERING THE BALLOONS. THE AIRCRAFT DISINTEGRATED ON IMPACT AND THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF MECHANICAL FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION FOUND DURING THE WRECKAGE EXAMINATION.

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

THE PILOT'S CHOICE OF AN INADEQUATE CRUISE ALTITUDE OVER ROLLING HILL TERRAIN WHICH RESULTED IN AN IN-FLIGHT COLLISION WITH HELIUM BALLOONS AND AN IN-FLIGHT LOSS OF CONTROL FOR UNDETERMINED REASONS. A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE VISUAL OUTLOOK.

Full narrative available

Index for Nov1993 | Index of months