NTSB Identification: LAX92FA043.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46284.
Accident occurred Sunday, November 10, 1991 in CARMEL VALLEY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N80274
Injuries: 3 Fatal,1 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.

ON A CLR DAY WITH 15 MI VIS, THE PLT FLEW TO THE CARMEL VALLEY ARPT. WITNESSES SAID HE DSCNDD TO BTN 200' & 300' AGL (650' & 750' MSL), THEN FLEW PAST THE ARPT; INITIALLY THE GND TRACK WAS PARALLEL, BUT ABT 570 FT SOUTH OF RWY 29. WITNESSES SAID THE ACFT WAS FLYING SLOWLY; AFTER TRAVELING ABT 8/10 MI PAST THE ARPT, THE ACFT TURNED RGT & FLEW ABT 6/10 MI, HDG TWD THE RISING TRRN OF A BOX CANYON. JUST BFR IMPACT, THE ACFT BGN A LEFT TURN & COLLIDED WITH 40 DEG UPSLOPING TRRN AT ABT 850' MSL. THE PILOT HAD FLOWN THE ACFT TO THE SAME ARPT 7 WKS EARLIER. A PILOT EXAMINER RPRTD THE ARPT WAS CLEARLY VISIBLE FM THE AIR & WAS NOT DIFFICULT TO LOCATE, ESPECIALLY AFTER HAVING ONCE BEEN THERE. NO PREIMPACT MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION WAS FOUND WITH THE AIRFRAME OR ENG.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN A SAFE ALTITUDE ABOVE THE GROUND DURING AN INTENTIONAL LOW ALTITUDE FLIGHT IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS RELATED TO THE PILOT BECOMING DISTRACTED WHILE FLYING OVER THE GROUND AND TO HIS FAILURE TO INITIATE A CLIMB OR TAKE OTHER CORRECTIVE ACTION BY ALTERING HIS COURSE IN A TIMELY MANNER TO AVOID COLLIDING WITH THE MOUNTAIN.

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