NTSB Identification: LAX92FA204.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47517.
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 06, 1992 in CUCAMONGA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/04/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-181, registration: N1054H
Injuries: 3 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.

ABOUT 40 MI EAST OF HIS DESTINATION, THE PILOT CALLED ONTARIO APPROACH FOR FLIGHT FOLLOWING THROUGH THE ONTARIO ARSA. HE WAS ASKED IF HE HAD THE CURRENT WEATHER FOR HIS DESTINATION, TO WHICH HE ANSWERED NO. HE WAS ADVISED THAT IT WAS VFR WITH 3 MI VISIBILITY IN HAZE. THE PILOT REQUESTED THE CEILING IN THE L.A. BASIN, AND WAS ADVISED THAT LA VERNE WAS MEASURED 2,300 OVERCAST. TWICE DURING RADIO EXCHANGES WITH CONTROLLERS, THE PILOT GAVE ALTITUDES WHICH WERE OFF BY 1,000 FT OR MORE. HE ATTEMPTED TWICE TO DESCEND THROUGH A HOLE IN THE OVERCAST WITHOUT SUCCESS. HE THEN ADVISED CONTROLLERS THAT HE WOULD REVERSE COURSE BACK TO BANNING. SHORTLY THEREAFTER HE REVERSED HIS COURSE BACK TOWARD LA VERNE. ABOUT 6 MIN LATER RADAR CONTACT WAS LOST IN THE MOUNTAINS NORTHEAST OF HIS DESTINATION. ABOUT 20 SEC BEFORE CONTACT WAS LOST THE PILOT RADIOED 'ITS GETTING PRETTY THICK UP HERE.' THE WRECKAGE WAS LOCATED AT 3100 FT MSL. TOXICOLOGICAL RESULTS WERE POSITIVE FOR METHAMPHETAMINE (0.50 MG/L BLOOD), AMPHETAMINE, AND DIPHENHYDRAMINE.

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

THE PILOT'S DECISION TO CONTINUE VFR FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS. FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO OBTAIN A WEATHER BRIEFING, THE ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS, HIS PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENT DUE TO DRUGS, AND THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

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