NTSB Identification: LAX88FA117.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40176.
Accident occurred Saturday, February 27, 1988 in SOLEDAD, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-180, registration: N7660J
Injuries: 4 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.

THE PLT & 3 PASSENGERS WERE ON A FLT TO A 1750 FT AIRSTRIP AT A VINEYARD. THE AIRSTRIP OWNER SAID HE INFORMED THE PLT THAT THE STRIP WAS LOCATED ON THE SIDE OF A HILL, THAT TERRAIN ROSE RAPIDLY TO THE EAST & NORTH OF THE STRIP, & THAT THERE WAS LOWER TERRAIN TO THE SOUTH. DRG AN APCH TO LAND FROM THE WEST, THE PLT ELECTED TO GO AROUND. WITNESSES SAW THE ACFT FLYING SLOWLY OVER RWY 7 WITH THE GEAR EXTENDED. AFTER FLYING PAST THE END OF THE RWY, THE ACFT WAS OBSERVED TO ENTER A LEFT TURN TOWARD RISING TERRAIN. IT CLEARED THE TOP OF THE HILL, BUT HIT 2 TREES JUST BEYOND THE HILLTOP & CRASHED. THE LANDING GEAR WAS FOUND IN THE EXTENDED POSITION. AN AUTOMATIC FEATURE OF THE GEAR WOULD KEEP IT EXTENDED BELOW 85 MPH, EXCEPT WHEN THE OVERRIDE DEVICE WAS USED. THIS WAS THE PLT'S 1ST FLT TO THE AIRSTRIP.

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

PILOT'S FAILURE TO PROMPTLY INITIATE REMEDIAL ACTION AND HIS FAILURE TO RAISE THE AIRCRAFT'S LANDING GEAR DURING AN ATTEMPTED GO-AROUND. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS RELATE TO THE PILOT'S POOR IN-FLIGHT DECISION, INATTENTIVENESS TO VFR PROCEDURES AND HIS NOT MAINTAINING CLEARANCE OVER THE UNDERLYING TERRAIN.

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