NTSB Identification: LAX92FA164.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47016.
Accident occurred Saturday, April 04, 1992 in CLAREMONT, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N1333E
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 RECENTLY CERTIFICATED 120 HOUR PRIVATE PILOT RENTED AN AIRCRAFT FOR A LOCAL FLIGHT AND FAILED TO RETURN WITHIN THE ALLOTTED TIME. THE AIRCRAFT WRECKAGE WAS LOCATED THE NEXT MORNING IN THE NEARBY MOUNTAINS. THE PILOT AND HIS PASSENGER HAD FLOWN OUT OF STATE TO A RESORT AREA FOR THE DAY. NO RECORD WAS FOUND THAT THE PILOT OBTAINED EITHER PREFLIGHT OR INFLIGHT WEATHER BRIEFINGS. DURING THE NIGHT RETURN FLIGHT THE PILOT BECAME LOST AND LANDED TWICE AT DIFFERENT AIRPORTS TO GET REORIENTED. THE SECOND LANDING WAS AT A RESTRICTED MILITARY BASE. AFTER DEPARTING THE MILITARY BASE HE ESTABLISHED CONTACT WITH APPROACH CONTROL FOR ASSISTANCE TO HIS DESTINATION AIRPORT WHICH WAS BENEATH AN OVERCAST. HE DECLARED THAT HIS FUEL STATUS WAS CRITICAL AND HE WAS RELUCTANT TO RETURN TO A HIGH DESERT AREA KNOWN TO BE VFR. APPROACH CONTROL PROVIDED VECTORS AS REQUESTED TO THE AREA OF HIS DESTINATION AIRPORT. THE PILOT BECAME DISORIENTED AGAIN AND THE AIRCRAFT DESCENDED INTO CLOUDS. THE APPROACH CONTROLLER ATTEMPTED TO VECTOR THE FLIGHT AWAY FROM HIGH TERRAIN HOWEVER THE PILOT HAD DIFFICULTY FLYING THE HEADINGS PROVIDED BY THE CONTROLLER AND THE AIRCRAFT COLLIDED WITH MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

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

THE PILOTS IMPROPER PREFLIGHT AND INFLIGHT PLANNING/DECISIONS, HIS CONTINUED VFR FLIGHT INTO IMC CONDITIONS, AND HIS FAILURE TO INITIATE TIMELY REMEDIAL ACTIONS.

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