NTSB Identification: LAX93FA020.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 48279.
Accident occurred Friday, October 30, 1992 in COTTONWOOD, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18-135, registration: N2221L
Injuries: 2 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 CERTIFICATED PRIVATE PILOT AND A PASSENGER WERE CONDUCTING A PERSONAL FLIGHT NEAR MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN TO LOOK FOR POSSIBLE OFF AIRPORT LANDING SPOTS. THE PILOT REPORTEDLY HAD COMMENTED ABOUT PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE IN BUSH FLYING, INCLUDING LANDING ON DIRT ROADS. THE AIRPLANE WAS OBSERVED ABOUT 100 TO 200 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND IN A SMALL CANYON NEAR A SWITCHBACK AREA ALONG A MOUNTAIN ROAD. THE AIRPLANE WAS THEN OBSERVED TO RAPIDLY DESCEND INTO THE GROUND, CRASHING IN A NEAR VERTICAL NOSE DOWN ATTITUDE. A PILOT WITNESS TO THE ACCIDENT REPORTED ENCOUNTERING TURBULENCE AND DOWNDRAFTS IN THE AREA. A GROUND WITNESS REPORTED CALM WIND CONDITIONS.

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

AN INADVERTENT STALL AND DESCENT INTO TERRAIN WHEN THE PILOT FAILED TO MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT AIRSPEED AND ALTITUDE ABOVE THE GROUND.

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