NTSB Identification: LAX89DUG02.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46182.
Accident occurred Sunday, January 22, 1989 in CAJALCO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/1990
Aircraft: MASON AJM-1, registration: N87AJ
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

THE PILOT RADIOED HE HAD CONTROL DIFFICULTIES WITH HIS AIRCRAFT AND DECLINED ASSISTANCE TO LAND AT NEARBY AIRPORTS. WITNESSES DESCRIBED THE AIRCRAFT AS SPINNING INTO THE GROUND FROM A VERY HIGH ALTITUDE. A VIDEO TAPE OF THE FLIGHT (FROM THE COCKPIT) INDICATED NO MECHANICAL DIFFICULTIES WITH THE AIRCRAFT DURING THE TIME THE PILOT REPORTED HAVING DIFFICULTIES. THE WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE CLEAR. THE PILOT DELIBERATELY TURNED OFF THE VIDEO CAMERA PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT. THE PILOT HAD JUST PURCHASED THIS AIRCRAFT. THIS WAS HIS FIRST FLIGHT AND HAD REFUSED THE OFFER OF INSTRUCTION FROM THE AIRCRAFT OWNER/BUILDER. THE CORONER HAS RULED THE ACCIDENT AS A SUICIDE. THE PILOT HAD JUST UNDERGONE MAJOR SURGERY AND WAS TAKING THE PRESCRIBED DRUG COUMADIN. ACCORDING TO THE FAA, THE USE OF THIS DRUG WOULD HAVE PRECLUDED THE USE OF HIS AEROMEDICAL CERTIFICATE.

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

THE PILOT'S INTENTIONAL DESCENT INTO THE TERRAIN. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO THE ACCIDENT WERE THE PILOT'S PHYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS AND HIS LACK OF EXPERIENCE IN THIS AIRCRAFT.

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