NTSB Identification: LAX92LA074.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46279.
Accident occurred Monday, December 30, 1991 in BIG BEAR CITY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA32RT-300, registration: N39459
Injuries: 2 Minor,2 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.

THE CERTIFICATED COMMERCIAL PILOT AND THREE PASSENGERS WERE DEPARTING ON A NIGHT VISUAL FLIGHT RULES CROSS COUNTRY FLIGHT IN INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS. THE AIRPLANE WAS EQUIPPED WITH A HAND CONTROL MECHANISM MOUNTED ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE CENTER CONTROL CONSOLE. THIS REQUIRED THE PILOT TO MANIPULATE ALL OF THE AIRPLANE CONTROLS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CONTROL COLUMN, WITH THE RIGHT HAND. DURING THE TAKE-OFF ROLL, THE PILOT FAILED TO PROPERLY USE THE RUDDER CONTROL BY RELAXING RIGHT RUDDER CONTROL PRESSURE. THE AIRPLANE DRIFTED TO THE LEFT AND STRUCK AN 8 INCH BERM OF SNOW LOCATED ALONG THE SIDE OF THE RUNWAY. THE PREVAILING VISIBILITY CONDITIONS VARIED FROM 3/4 OF A MILE, DOWN TO 50 FEET WHICH RESTRICTED THE PILOT'S VISUAL ACUITY. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT THE RUNWAY LIGHTS WERE OBSCURED BY SNOW.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN DIRECTIONAL CONTROL AND IMPROPER USE OF THE RUDDER. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE IMPROPER INSTALLATION BY THE COMPANY OF A HAND CONTROL MECHANISM THAT REQUIRED THE PILOT TO OPERATE THE AIRPLANE CONTROLS WITH ONE HAND AND RESTRICTED VISUAL OUTLOOK DUE TO THE EXISTING INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS.

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