NTSB Identification: LAX89FA074.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39094.
Accident occurred Saturday, December 24, 1988 in YUCCA, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/09/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N9276M
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 NON-INSTRUMENT RATED RECENTLY CERTIFICATED PRIVATE PILOT DEPARTED BULLHEAD ON CHRISTMAS EVE FOR A NIGHTTIME FLIGHT TO PHOENIX SO HIS PASSENGER COULD CONNECT WITH AN 0800 AIRLINE FLIGHT HOME. THE PILOT TOOK OFF AND NAVIGATED TO THE SE FOR 23 NM. AWAY FROM ALL CITY LIGHTS AND OVER DESERT TERRAIN HE BECAME SPATIALLY DISORIENTED AND LOST CONTROL OF THE ACFT. THE ACFT DESCENDED AT A HIGH RATE OF SPEED & COLLIDED WITH TERRAIN WHILE IN AT LEAST A 60 DEGREE BANK. THERE WERE NO WITNESSES TO THE CRASH. PERSONS LOCATED 6 MI E OF THE CRASH SITE REPORTED IT WAS FOGGY, THE VISIBILITY WAS 2 MI AND THERE WAS LIGHT RAIN AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT.

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

PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN DIRECTIONAL CONTROL. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS INCLUDED THE PILOT'S IMPROPER IN-FLIGHT DECISION WHICH WAS RELATED TO HIS OVERCONFIDENCE IN HIS PERSONAL ABILITY, SPATIAL DISORIENTATION UPON ENCOUNTERING INCLEMENT WEATHER DURING THE NIGHTTIME FLIGHT, AND HIS TOTAL LACK OF FLIGHT EXPERIENCE.

Index for Dec1988 | Index of months