NTSB Identification: LAX94FA048.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 12, 1993 in SHAVER LAKE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/1994
Aircraft: BEECH V-35, registration: N630AW
Injuries: 4 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.
DURING A CROSS-COUNTRY FLIGHT, THE AIRCRAFT CROSSED HIGH MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN WHERE AREAS OF RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS WERE REPORTED. AIRMETS HAD BEEN ISSUED FOR TURBULENCE, MOUNTAIN OBSCURATION, AND ICING CONDITIONS. SATELLITE IMAGES REVEALED THE PRESENCE OF STANDING LENTICULAR CLOUDS. A WEATHER BRIEFING WAS NOT OBTAINED AND NO FLIGHT PLAN WAS FILED. NO VOICE COMMUNICATIONS WERE RECEIVED FROM THE AIRCRAFT AND NO IN-FLIGHT SERVICES WERE BEING PROVIDED BY THE FAA. RADAR DATA INDICATED THAT THE AIRPLANE MADE SEVERAL MANEUVERING TURNS AND A RAPID DESCENT BEFORE RADAR CONTACT WAS LOST. THE AIRPLANE EXPERIENCED AN IN-FLIGHT BREAKUP AND WAS SCATTERED OVER A 3/4-MILE AREA. A TRAJECTORY STUDY INDICATED THAT THE LOCATION OF THE SEPARATED AIRPLANE COMPONENTS WAS CONSISTENT WITH A BREAKUP ALTITUDE OF 14,000 FEET.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: An in-flight breakup of the airplane following the pilot's continued VFR flight into IMC conditions during which directional control of the airplane was not maintained, and the design limits of the airplane were exceeded. The pilot's inadequate evaluation of the weather conditions that consisted of mountain wave activity and standing lenticular clouds were factors in the accident. Full narrative available
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