NTSB Identification: LAX99FA294.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 02, 1999 in BEAR VALLEY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Mooney M20D, registration: N6831U
Injuries: 1 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.

About noon, during a cross-country flight under benign visual meteorological conditions, the pilot lost control of her airplane. It entered an uncontrolled descent and impacted 9,200-foot mean sea level terrain in a nearly vertical nose down attitude. The wreckage was not located for several days. The pilot had about 1,700 total hours of flight time, of which about 1,600 hours were in the accident model of airplane. She was a current pilot. The airplane was not equipped with an autopilot or any wing-leveling device. There were no en route communications between the pilot and any FAA facility. No evidence of any mechanical malfunction with the airframe or engine was noted during the on-scene wreckage examination. The continuity of the airplane's flight control system was confirmed. Three witnesses who observed the pilot prior to departure indicated that she did not appear physically well. One of the witnesses stated the pilot had a 'flushed' look on her face and bags under her eyes. The second witness reported that the pilot 'did not look normal.' The third witness stated that the pilot 'did not look well.' The toxicological examination revealed the presence of a readily available over-the-counter decongestant in body tissue; however, no blood level for the drug was ascertained. The drug's involvement remains undetermined.

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

The pilot's in-flight loss of control for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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