NTSB Identification: LAX91FA133.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44825.
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 13, 1991 in GORMAN, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA 320D, registration: N3302Q
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.

THE ACFT HAD BEEN IN THE PHOENIX AREA FOR REPAIRS & FOR INSTN OF AVIONICS, AND WAS ON A TRIP TO ANCHORAGE VIA SEATTLE. BFR DEPG LAKE HAVASU CITY, THE PLT RCVD A WX BRIEFING, BUT DID NOT FILE A FLT PLAN. THERE WERE FLT PRCTNS FOR MODERATE TURBC BELOW 16,000', MODERATE ICING IN CLDS & MTN OBSCN. THE PLT REQD & RCVD TFC ADZY FROM EDWARDS APCH CTL WHILE TRANSITING THE PALMDALE ATA. DURING THAT TIME, HE REQD & RCVD THE BAKERSFIELD WX. AT ABOUT 1007 PST, RADAR SERVICE WAS TERMINATED. ABOUT 1 MIN LATER, RADAR CTC WAS LOST AS THE ACFT WAS CRUISING AT 4500' MSL. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE ACFT CRASHED INTO RISING TRRN IN THE TEHACHAPI MTS, ABOUT 15 MI FROM WHERE RADAR CTC WAS LOST. IMPACT OCCURRED ABOUT 75' BELOW THE TOP OF A RIDGE AT AN ELEV OF ABOUT 6000'. AN EXAM OF THE CRASH SITE REVEALED EVIDENCE THE ACFT HAD CRASHED IN A WINGS LEVEL ATTITUDE. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE ACFT OR ENG WAS FND.

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

VFR FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC) BY THE PILOT, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT ALTITUDE/CLEARANCE FROM MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE TERRAIN AND WEATHER CONDITIONS.

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