NTSB Identification: LAX01FA023.
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Accident occurred Monday, October 23, 2000 in Wheaton Springs, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/17/2003
Aircraft: Mooney M-20J, registration: N40VF
Injuries: 2 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 airplane impacted mountainous terrain after the instrument rated commercial pilot reported that he was in the clouds and was picking up ice during a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country flight. The pilot obtained an updated weather briefing at the departure airport, which advised him that VFR flight along his planned route was not recommended. A review of weather data indicated that the freezing level was at 9,536 feet msl and the bases of clouds ranged anywhere from 400 feet to 3,000 feet agl. The cloud tops in the area of the accident site were 22,000 feet. The accident site was at the 4,650-foot level of the mountain. No anomalies with the engine or airplane were noted that would have prevented their normal operation.

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

The pilot's inadequate weather evaluation and attempted VFR flight into IMC, which resulted in the in-flight collision with mountainous terrain.

Full narrative available

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