NTSB Identification: LAX92LA012.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45545.
Accident occurred Friday, October 11, 1991 in GRASS VALLEY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/22/1993
Aircraft: BEECH K35, registration: N9559R
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

IN AN ORAL STATEMENT, THE PILOT SAID THAT AS HE APPROACHED THE AIRPORT HE OBSERVED SQUALL LINE ACTIVITY AND DECIDED TO ORBIT UNTIL THE WEATHER CLEARED. AFTER THE WEATHER CONDITIONS VISUALLY IMPROVED, THE PILOT ENTERED THE PATTERN FOR LANDING. HE STATED THAT ON SHORT FINAL APPROACH THE AIRCRAFT ENCOUNTERED SEVERE TURBULENCE AND A DOWN DRAFT. THE PILOT INITIATED A GO AROUND, HOWEVER, THE AIRCRAFT ROLLED VIOLENTLY AND THE WING TIP STRUCK THE GROUND. AN AIRPORT ATTENDANT STATED THAT HE WAS IN THE OFFICE WHERE THE WEATHER OBSERVATION INSTRUMENTS ARE LOCATED AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT. HE SAID THAT THE WINDS WERE 30 TO 40 KNOTS WITH SUDDEN 180 DEGREE CHANGES IN DIRECTION AT THE TIME THE PILOT ATTEMPTED HIS APPROACH. THUNDERSTORM CLOUDS WERE VISIBLE IN THE DISTANCE AND THE AIRPORT WAS EXPERIENCING INTERMITTENT HEAVY RAIN SHOWERS.

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

THE INADVERTENT ENCOUNTER WITH A MICROBURST/DOWNBURST PHENOMENA ASSOCIATED WITH THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY. A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT WAS THE FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO ADEQUATELY ASSESS THE WEATHER CONDITIONS DURING THE LANDING ATTEMPT.

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